To residents of St Albans and the surrounding area, the word 'Verulamium' is as common as any other.

The word gives its name to the city's 100-acre park, a school, a lake, a museum and an ancient theatre.

However, to those unfamiliar with city the word can seem alien, with a meaning that is shrouded in mystery and confusion.


Fear not, for we have put together a simple guide to everything Verulamium.

An Ancient tribe

Herts Advertiser: A view of Verulamium Park, St Albans.A view of Verulamium Park, St Albans. (Image: Will Durrant)

According to Britannica, Verlamion - as it was then spelt - was once the capital of Tasciovanus, king of the Catuvellauni tribe.

This was before the Roman's occupied the site with soldiers in 44–45 AD.

The Catuvellauni were a Celtic tribe in southeastern Britain.

A Roman re-naming

Herts Advertiser: Ruins of the Roman wall remain in St Albans.Ruins of the Roman wall remain in St Albans. (Image: Maya Derrick)

Following the second Roman invasion of Britain, the settlement of Verlamion was re-named as Verulamium.

The town was destroyed by Boudica, prior to being rebuilt by the Romans, who then implemented their own town-planning principles.

According to St Albans History, Verulamium became one of the largest Roman cities in Britain.

What was Verulamium like?

Herts Advertiser: The Roman Mosaic and Hypocaust, in Verulamium Park.The Roman Mosaic and Hypocaust, in Verulamium Park. (Image: Przemysław Sakrajda on Creative Commons)

According to Britannica, Verulamium included a forum, a theatre, a market hall, two "triumphal" arches, a city wall and many houses.

These houses were decorated with fine mosaics and wall paintings, as can be seen at the Roman Mosaic and Hypocaust in Verulamium Park.

Much of Verulamium was destroyed by a fire during the second century, before being rebuilt once again.

Alban, a pagan and soldier in the Roman army, was beheaded between 209 and 304 AD, after giving shelter to a Christian priest.

Verulamium was eventually deserted in the fifth century, leaving St Albans to be created in the name of Britain's first Christian martyr.

What remains of Verulamium?

Herts Advertiser: The Roman theatre still hosts productions to this day.The Roman theatre still hosts productions to this day. (Image: Tim Morozzo Photography 2021)

A number of Roman ruins remain in St Albans and the surrounding area.

Remains of the ancient wall, and the Roman Mosaic and Hypocaust, can be seen in Verulamium Park.

The Roman Theatre of Verulamium can be seen in the grounds of Gorhambury Estate, and still hosts productions to this day.

A number of "ancient treasures" and remnants of Verulamium can also be found at the Verulamium Museum.