St Albans is a city and unparished area in southern Hertfordshire, England, around 19 miles north of central London. It forms the main urban area of the City and District of St Albans. It was the first major town on the old Roman road of Watling Street for travellers heading north and became the Roman city of Verulamium. It is a historic market town and is now a dormitory town within the London commuter belt.ToponymySaint Alban, the first British Christian martyr, was possibly beheaded in AD 308 by Maximian on the orders of Emperor Diocletian, who denounced Christianity and had ordered the deaths of all subjects and allies of the Roman Empire who refused to give up the faith. Saint Alban consequently gave the town its modern name.St Albans has two official demonyms: Verulamian and Albanian. St Albans was a settlement of pre-Roman origin named Verlamion (or Verulam) by the Ancient British, Catuvellauni tribe.HistoryThe St Albans area has a long history of settlement. The Celtic Catuvellauni tribe had a settlement at Prae Hill a mile or so to the west. The Roman city of Verulamium, second-largest town in Roman Britain after Londinium, was built alongside this in the valley of the River Ver a little nearer to the present city centre.