St Albans Legacy Project asks for local diverse family history

St Albans Legacy Project's map, to be decorated with the family history of St Albans residents. Pict

St Albans Legacy Project's map, to be decorated with the family history of St Albans residents. Picture: Andie Hill - Credit: Archant

A project has been set up to celebrate the family history of people living in the district.

St Albans Legacy Project is asking local residents to get in touch about where their ancestors lived a century ago, to be pinpointed on a world map.

The fully decorated chart will then be displayed in the new St Albans Museum and Gallery, alongside pieces of modern art entered into a competition by students.

Local secondary school pupils have been asked to submit a piece of modern art which represents their family history.

It is a multi-media contest and therefore entrants have been encouraged to think creatively, for example planting a garden patch with vegetables eaten in the early 20th Century.

All of this has been set up to commemorate the centenary of the World War One armistice on November 11.

Artistic director of the project, Andie Hill, said: “I just think it is important that people engage with their heritage and this is a unique opportunity to take advantage of that, and give teenagers a voice and ownership of that heritage.

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“I am really looking forward to seeing what people have done and it is an amazing world class space that we want to give the finalists the opportunity to be exhibited in, professionally.”

She said map submissions have already started to come in - from unexpected places: “It’s been diverse, more diverse than we would expect.

“There have been quite a lot of Scandinavian heritages and that isn’t something I was expecting.”

The map and competition finalists will be on display for two weeks, starting on October 27. The competition closing date is June 28.

The refurbished St Albans town hall is scheduled to open on June 8, after two years of restoration.

It will be free to visit and aims to showcase more than 2,000 years of local heritage alongside art exhibitions of treasures from around the world.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy national touring exhibitions from other UK museums for a small entry fee.

Permanent displays will tell the story of St Albans district from the pre-Roman era through to modern times.

For more information about the map and competition, visit