St Albans’ part in Papal Affairs


Today Pope Benedict XVI has landed in Scotland for the first of a four day state visit to the UK. Although St Albans won’t be graced by his presence, many local catholics are set to see him in London.

St Albans however, did play a part in papal affairs as a local boy Nicholas Breakspear,attended St Albans School in the 12th century, before taking off to Europe and later become Pope Adrian IV . He was the only Englishman to become pope.

His birthplace is marked by a small memorial stone in Bedmond Village  and his father, Robert Breakspear, is buried at  St Albans Cathedral. Local secondary school, Nicholas Breakspear, is called after him as are many of the road names in St Albans and Abbots Langley.

For more information on Pope Adrian IV (Nicholas Breakspear) click,

Info on St Albans School

Pope Benedict’s visit to UK  or

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Maria Larmer lives in St Albans and is married with four children. She works as a Freelance Writer, English Language Teacher and Teaching Assistant. She has lived in Auckland, New Zealand for 9 years and prior to that in France, Germany, Austria, Edinburgh, London and Ireland. Her diary-writing has featured on 'The Wild Geese' Channel 4 and Radio Verulam. She has written for Hertfordshire Life magazine, Go Camping magazine, Camping magazine, The Catholic Times, St Albans & Harpenden Review, New Zealand Times, The New Beacon, My Weekly and various websites. She can be contacted on