St Albans’ Sopwell Nunnery ruins now clean after graffiti incident

PUBLISHED: 15:00 06 December 2017

Graffiti on the walls of Sopwell Priory. Picture: Danny Loo

Graffiti on the walls of Sopwell Priory. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

“Mindless” graffiti on an iconic piece of St Albans history has now been cleaned.

Graffiti on the walls of Sopwell Priory. Picture: Danny Loo Graffiti on the walls of Sopwell Priory. Picture: Danny Loo

The tag Zac SG was sprayed onto the lime ruins of a Tudor house on Sadleir Road, known to locals as the Sopwell Nunnery, approximately a month ago.

The site was the home of a 1140 priory demolished during the Reformation, when the land was given by King Henry VIII to royal adviser Sir Richard Lee.

The ruins of Sir Richard’s mansion are a popular tourist attraction managed by St Albans district council (SADC).

Chairman of St Albans Civic Society Tim Boatswain said the vandalism was disappointing, St Albans district Sopwell councillor Iain Grant described it as horrible and unappreciative, and SADC’s head of community services Debbi White said she was shocked and angered.

Due to the fragile nature of the bricks, specialist teams were brought in to ensure cleaning chemicals did not cause damage and it has now been restored to its former glory.

Herts police are still investigating the incident and appealing for information or witnesses.

PC Ben Kirby said: “These ruins date back to the 1500s and are enjoyed by members of the public as a visible reminder of the history of our city. This mindless behaviour will not be tolerated in St Albans.

“Do you recognise this tag? Did you see anything suspicious in the area during this time?

“Anybody who has any information about this incident or believes they may know who uses this tag should contact me.”

It happened between 
Monday, October 23 and Friday, November 3.

Quote crime reference F1/17/5341 when reporting on non-emergency number 101 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

There has been a spate of vandalism in St Albans this November - thugs set fire to a wheelie bin and a treehouse structure at Victoria Park Playing Fields’ crowdfunded playground and recently a nutcracker Christmas statue at St Albans Abbey station was damaged and pushed over.

Do you know Zac SG or have information about these crimes? Contact the Herts Ad at

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