four star boutique accommodation in st albans

Tankerfield House Boutique B&B St. Albans

Our Ghastly History

The foundations of Tankerfield House, which is named after the protestant martyr, George Tankerfield, date back to the Middle Ages.

The Yorkshire baker was brought from London to be burned at the stake in 1555.

George Tankerfield fell victim to Mary I or Bloody Mary, for refusing to accept the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation.

He was burned at the stake in front of the Abbey Gateway, in the area known as Romeland. The name originates from ‘roamland’ which still signifies the public’s right to ‘roam’ at will in this much loved and protected nomansland.

A faded plaque in George Tankerfield’s memory can be seen at the entrance to the little gardens and former graveyard of Romeland or ‘roamland’. There is also a commemorative effigy displayed in the Cathedral among notable others.

During the fifteenth century, armies from the War of the Roses must have marched past the site of Tankerfield House which is just below the plaque in George Street, indicating the former Antelope/Tabard Inn of late 14th/early fifteenth century).

The year is 1461 and the Lancastrian Commander, Sir Anthony Trollop ‘... marched up Fishpool Street but after passing the great Abbey Church and approaching the Eleanor Cross (site of the Clock Tower in the Market Place) encountered the Yorkist archers...’

The battles between the Lancastrians (Red Rose) and Yorkists (White Rose) took place in the city centre, including Holywell Hill near the White Hart Inn.

Tankerfield House itself has served a great variety of purposes over the centuries.

For example, a nineteenth century map lists a straw-hat-making factory... which was part of the local cottage industry. Hence, the many conserved cottages, pubs and churches that surround us in the most picturesque area of St Albans.

A significant change occurs in 1911 when the building was converted into The Lads’ Institute by the Abbey Parish.

More recent incumbents include The Crusaders Charity which used Tankerfield House as offices and living accommodation (see The Red Room and our well-known Christianincumbent, Cliff Richard...some ladies get mad at seeing this, but they’re just jealous)! The adjoining Crusaders Book Shop is now the Boys’ School Drama Studio.

Slightly out of date history reports that: ‘The former hat factory still survives and is converted into flats’. Those flats, which are no longer, were once inhabited by Abbey Vergers and their families.

The latest update is that Tankerfield House is now a boutique B&B, complete with all the character and ingrained presence of a by-gone age.