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On top the hill outside the ruined Roman city of Verulamium stands the great Cathedral dedicated to Saint Alban, Britainís first martyr. A Benedictine monastery was founded on the site in 793, and in 1077 Paul of Caen began building an Abbey using Roman bricks from Verulamium.This place was the premier Abbey of medieval England, until its monastic life ended in 1593 when all but the Abbey Church and Gatehouse was destroyed. Its role as a parish church continues now. It became a cathedral in 1877. The shrine of Saint Alban, the focus of the building, carved of Purbeck marble in 1308. In 2002 a bone believed to be of Saint Alban, was given to the Cathedral by the Roman Catholic church of Saint Pantaleon in Cologne. The relic is now inside the shrine.