St Albans Cathedral to be filled with poppies to commemorate World War One

A stunning projection of poppies will fill the Nave of St Albans Cathedral for two nights only, as part of a unique light and sound installation to commemorate the World War One Centenary later this year.

On Friday 26th and Saturday 27th October the Cathedral will open after dark to anyone wishing to contemplate and reflect on the history of World War One. Entry will be free and will provide people with an opportunity to remember those who have served, both in the First World War and any other conflict.

Created by Peter Walker, Artistic Director at Lichfield Cathedral, the installation will feature projections specially tailored to St Albans Cathedral, including names of local soldiers who have served in the armed forces and falling rose petals which will be projected over the Shrine of Alban, Britain’s First Saint. A beautiful sound artwork composed by David Harper, accompanies the installation and includes four readings of World War One poems by Oscar Winning actor, Eddie Redmayne.

Peter Walker said: “Art in its many forms allows us to individually and collectively experience and share emotive moments. 100 years on from the end of WW1, Poppy Field is an opportunity to become immersed in sound and light and truly reflect and focus our thoughts. We are delighted to bring this installation to St Albans Cathedral, and look forward to welcoming everyone to experience the Cathedral seen in a new way.”

The Dean of St Albans Cathedral said: “The Cathedral is an appropriate place to remember, and like Alban’s red rose, the poppies recall both the beauty and the blood of martyrdom. At the centenary of the close of the Great War, it is a powerful way to offer sorrow and thanks for the past and continuing self-sacrifice of so many for the sake of their fellow human beings.”  

Poppy Field will be on display in St Albans Cathedral on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th October from 7.30pm until 11pm. Entry is free.


Notes for Editors:

Remembering those who have served

Later in the year, the Cathedral will run a campaign calling for local residents to submit the names of relatives or local people who have served their country in any conflict. The names will be projected inside the Cathedral on the two evenings of the installation, as a way of honouring and commemorating their service. Further details will be released in due course.

St Albans Remembers

Poppy Field is the flagship event for St Albans Remembers, a programme of events taking place in the city to commemorate WW1. This will include war memorial tours and exhibitions, in addition to Remembrance Day commemorations taking place in November. Further details will be released in due course.


Luxmuralis is the collaborative team behind the Poppy Field installation. Together Peter Walker and David Harper create works across multiple media and presentation formats. Luxmuralis work internationally in the development of large scale sound and light artworks. The primary purpose of Luxmuralis is to take art onto the streets and provide access to visual artwork in public as well as unexpected places.

Peter Walker

Peter Walker is Artist in Residence and Artistic Director at Lichfield Cathedral. He is an internationally renowned sculptor and artist. Peter is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. He is curating a series of major art projects at Lichfield Cathedral over the coming years.

David Harper MSc

David is a Composer and Sound Artist. The music he writes and produces has been used for BBC and Channel 4 TV productions as well as for national theatre productions and film. David also creates sound art installations, which combines his musical composition with video and film and are frequently exhibited at art events, museums and in public spaces throughout the UK.

Lichfield Cathedral

The Poppy Field light and sound installation is taking place in partnership with Lichfield Cathedral, where Peter Walker is Artist in residence. Lichfield Cathedral is the only medieval three-spired Cathedral in the UK, and is a treasured landmark in the heart of England. It is one of the oldest places of Christian worship, and the burial place of the great Anglo-Saxon Missionary Bishop, St Chad. 

St Albans Cathedral

St Albans Cathedral is built on the site of the martyrdom of St Alban, Britain’s first saint and is the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain. It houses the shrines of St Alban and St Amphibalus, and is a major site of Christian pilgrimage to this day.

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