An exhibition will open at St Albans Cathedral this Friday, launching a programme of events commemorating the centenary of World War One.

It will explore the parish’s ten unique war memorials, which are situated in the streets of those who died and are believed to be the only cluster of intimate street memorials of this kind in England.

The display invites visitors to place themselves in St Albans at the outbreak of war, in a notoriously poor parish that would later experience a heavy loss of life. Visitors will learn about entire families who played a part in the war effort, the role of women both at home and in France, and decorated war heroes who never returned.

The free exhibition has been created with the help of St Albans and Hertfordshire Architectural and Archaeological Society and will be open daily from 10am to 4pm until August 18.

On Monday, August 4, from 10pm to 11pm, the lights will be turned out and candles lit for a vigil in the Quire to remember the outbreak of the war in 1914.

A free Family Discovery Morning on Thursday, August 7 will encourage children to explore historical ideas of conflict and resolution depicted throughout the building.

For older children, there are workshops available during the summer with specially themed activities including creating ‘War Horse’ puppets, delicate watercolours, and handling original pieces of World War One ‘trench art’ – small pieces of art and toys crafted by soldiers out of bullet shells, shrapnel and other paraphernalia.

For adults, there is a free More to Explore tour examining the many memorials to fallen soldiers within the building, and walks around the Cathedral’s unique parish memorials.

Later on in the year there will be a special series of lectures and seminars from distinguished speakers including Professor Jack Spence OBE.

Details: 01727 860780, 01727 890290,