‘Robert’ of Wendover and St Albans Cathedral

I went to St Alban’s today and saw the cathedral for the first time. Apart from the martyr saint Alban whose shrine has been there for more than 1500 years, the cathedral and the Benedictine abbey that went with it are also famous for the chroniclers that wrote history in the high middle ages. Roger of Wendover and Matthew Paris are the two great figures of 13th century historiography and they were both monks at the abbey.

Curious to see what one could learn about these two great learned men at the cathedral, I turned to the info panels on the south-west nave wall. Then I saw this:


There was no Robert of Wendover, but Roger, in the abbey scriptorium. But it’s so long ago that it doesn’t really matter, does it, except for a few medievalists who find it unbearable that Roger gets mistakenly re-baptised.

I will soon follow up on this post with photos of the cathedral, particularly the Romanesque arches and the 12th century mural paintings, which I found fascinating.

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