The history of St Albans featured on an episode of Mastermind on BBC Two earlier this week.

The popular quiz show allows each contestant to choose a specialist subject on which to answer questions in the first round, before they are tested on their general knowledge in the second round.

It was previously hosted by John Humphrys, but he was replaced last year by Clive Myrie.

On this week's episode, first broadcast on Monday, December 11, Liz Davison, a practice nurse, sat in the famous black chair to answer questions on the history of St Albans for two minutes.

She was given 11 questions on the subject, and answered six of them correctly to leave her in a good position going into the second round.

After a strong general knowledge showing, she finished with 17 points - just two behind the winner, Elliot Hooson.


The questions that Liz faced varied widely, ranging from before the Roman invasion of Britain in ancient times up to the 20th century.

You can watch the full show on BBC iPlayer, or test yourself with the questions below (answers at the bottom of the page).


1. Legend suggests that which Hertfordshire-born man, the only Englishman to become Pope, was rejected by the Benedictine Abbey of St Albans and became an Augustinian monk instead?

2. The Roman settlement of Verulamium was the capital of which civitas, or subunit of Roman Britain, named after the tribe who lived in the area before colonisation?

3. Which cook from London was burned at the stake at Romeland in St Albans in 1555 for refusing to accept the doctrine of transubstantiation?

4. St Michael's Manor Hotel on Fishpool Street was, until 1965, a private home belonging to what wealthy St Albans family, who had made their money from the tanning trade?

5. During the First Battle of St Albans in 1455, the Yorkist forces gathered at what location, now commemorated in a street name, while Richard of York negotiated with the Royal Army?

6. Which large estate to the west of St Albans was acquired in 1560 by the Bacon family, and was where Sir Francis Bacon would write many of his literary works?

7. What was the surname of Mortimer and Tessa, the husband and wife archaeologists who excavated the remains of a pre-Roman settlement at St Albans in the 1930s?

8. Which Norman architect designed the Abbey building at St Albans, using Roman bricks from Verulamium to build its crossing tower?

9. What was the unusual name of the station which was closed in the 1950s between St Albans (London Road) and Hill End, on the former railway line from St Albans to Hatfield?

10. Which successful seed merchant, who established his mail order business on St Albans High Street in the mid-1890s, is chiefly remembered today for his foundation of a major sporting event?

11. The St Albans Psalter, an illustrated manuscript of more than 400 pages, was produced in the 12th century for which local hermit?


1. Nicholas Breakspear

2. Catavallauni

3. George Tankerfield

4. Gape

5. Keyfield

6. Gorhambury

7. Wheeler

8. Robert the Mason

9. Salvation Army Halt

10. Samuel Ryder

11. Christina of Markyate