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Distinguished People of St Albans

Film director Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999), lived at Childwickbury Manor from 1978. His widow, artist Christiane Kubrick organises the Childwickbury Arts Fair each July and runs regular oil and watercolour painting courses with daughter Katharina.


Zoe Jackson MBE always had big dreams. By the age of four, she knew she wanted to perform on stage. But, there was a strong entrepreneurial streak in her too, as evidenced by the fact that, aged 8, she set up a café in her kitchen at home and tried to sell the toasted bagels back to her parents that they had just prepared for her breakfast.

At 16 she wanted to go to the National Youth Theatre but could not afford the £2,000 fee. Eschewing the usual fundraising methods suggested by the theatre (car washing, holding bake sales etc.), Zoe decided to do something much more exciting and closely allied to her own dreams to raise the money.


One of the first ever Queen’s Young Leaders St Albans School pupil Nicholas Breakspear (c.1100-1159) became Pope Adrian IV. He is the only Englishman to have occupied the papal chair.


The philosopher, scientist and ‘1st Viscount St Alban’ Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) lived at Old Gorhambury House.
Ali G comedian Sacha Baron Cohen went to school at St Columba’s College in St Albans before finding global fame.



David Essex, singer, petrol head and Gypsy Council patron lives in St Albans.



Sir Stephen Lander former head of MI5, has lived in St Albans for many years.



Actor Philip Madoc lives locally and is patron of Best Theatre Arts and The Abbey Theatre.



Film director Mike Newell  born and educated in St Albans. He sung in the cathedral choir and was a member of the Abbey Theatre’s Company of Ten. He holds an honorary degree from the University of Hertfordshire and is a big fan of St Albans.



Tim Rice is a former lawyer, cricket fanatic and lyricist he is also an alumni of St Albans School.

Seed Merchant and Verulam Golf Club member Samuel Ryder (1858-1936) came to St Albans in 1895, built Ryder House (now the Comfort Hotel) on Holywell Hill in 1911 and co-founded the Ryder Cup in 1927.


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