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A very old room in historic St Albans

st albans great gateway Thomas de la Mare abbey cathedral 1363

Great Gateway, St Albans, April 2020

You may well be thinking that this isn’t a very exciting door, but behind it lies a lot of history. In fact, it is said to be the oldest room in the world regularly used as a classroom.

st albans great gateway west gate room oldest in world 13th century

Now much repaired, the Great Gateway was built in the 1360s by Thomas de la Mare. It was constructed when its predecessor was destroyed by strong winds in 1363.

st albans great gateway Thomas de la Mare abbey cathedral

Great Gateway and Abbey, St Albans, April 2020

The West Gate Room was incorporated from the previous gateway, evidenced by the room’s vaulting being made of 13th-century vaulting-ribs. The gateway is now part of St Albans School, one of the oldest schools in the world, and classes are still held in these ancient rooms.


Copyright Debbie Smyth, 21 May 2020

Posted as part of Norm’s Doors

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