The Book of Benefactors is a unique record of the people that visited and invested in the abbey church of St Albans over six centuries, from the reign of Æthelred the Unready to the eve of the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Not only does this remarkable parchment record who they were, where they came from and what they contributed to the abbey and its treasures, it also pictures them in a sequence of vivid portraits. Here it is possible to meet the people that made medieval St Albans. In this talk we will discover the diverse cast of characters celebrated in the book, from the highest to the lowest, those that came from foreign climes, and the locals that wove their lives around their abbey church.  We will also explore the making of the book and how it came to be preserved for posterity.

A 15th century copy of the original Book of Benefactors is currently on display in the Cathedral as part of our Lives and Legacies exhibition. The exhibition will be open from 7:00pm on the evening of the talk if you would like to take a look. 

Image: CCCC MS 007, f.108. Image courtesy of The Parker Library, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. 

Speaker: Professor James Clark, University of Exeter

Date & Time: Wednesday 4 August, 8-9.30pm

Cost:  £10 (students £6)

Venue: Nave, St Albans Cathedral & Online via Zoom

If restrictions proceed as planned, this talk will take place with social distancing measures in the Cathedral Nave. Attendees are also welcome to join online. Please select how you will be attending when you choose your tickets.

Joining on Zoom on the night

Instructions for joining the talk will be sent via email after 5pm on the day of the event. If you have not received these details please email us before 7pm. 

Click here to find out more about using Zoom for our events 

How to Book

You can book online here using the button below, or call the Box Office on 01727 890290. Tickets will be on sale until 5pm on the day of the event. Please ensure that you provide a current email address when you book.