St Albans Ely Train
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About St Albans
The city of St Albans is located just to the north of London in the county of Hertfordshire. The medieval town grew on the hill around the Benedictine foundation of St Albans Abbey. In its time it was the principal abbey in England and the first draft of the Magna Carta was drawn up there. The Abbey Church, now St Albans Cathedral, became the parish church in 1553 only around 15 ears after the dissolution of the priory in 1539. The town was granted city status in 1877 when the church was declared a cathedral.
The growth of the city was slow before the 20th century which largely reflected the fact that it was a rural market town, a Christian pilgrimage site and the first coaching stop on the route to and from London. The latter is the reason why there are a large number of inns and public houses dating from Tudor times (1485 - 1603). Today the city is a popular visitor destination as the city shows evidence of building and excavation from all periods of its history. Notable buildings include the Abbey and the 15th century clock tower, which is one of only two similar towers in England. The city is also the site of the Eleanor Cross which was destroyed in 1703.
Located in Cambridgeshire, the city of Ely is roughly 14 miles to the north east of the city of Cambridge. The English King, Henry III, granted the Bishop of Ely a market in the 13th century. Today, the market is open on Thursday and Saturday and is supplemented with seasonal markets held monthly on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from Easter to November. The city is situated on the River Great Ouse, which was a significant means of transport until the fens were drained and Ely ceased to be an island in the eighteenth century. The river is now a popular boating spot, and has a large marina.
Annual events in Ely include Aquafest, which has been staged at the riverside by the Rotary Club on the first Sunday of July since 1978. Other events include the Eel Day carnival procession and the annual fireworks display in Ely Park which was first staged in 1974. The Ely Folk Festival has been held in the city since 1985. The Ely Horticultural Society have been staging their Great Autumn Show since 1927.
Ely railway station, on the Fen Line, is a major railway hub with the Cambridge to Ely section opening in 1845. Five major railway lines emanate from this hub: north to King's Lynn, north-west to Peterborough, east to Norwich, south-east to Ipswich and south to Cambridge and London.