A new exhibition has opened at St Albans Museum + Gallery.

Pageant Fever is a fascinating, free exhibition exploring the history and spectacle of pageants in the city.

This exhibition tells the story of the St Albans pageants with objects and costumes, audio recordings, images and film. It shows how the events were organised, how they brought history vividly to life and what they meant to the people of St Albans, then and now.

St Albans caught ‘pageant fever’ three times in the 1900s. In 1907, 1948 and 1953 the people of the city came together to perform episodes from its rich history. Hundreds acted in these historical pageants, performing to thousands in Verulamium Park each time. There were beautiful costumes, stirring music and teams of horses. There were kings and queens, abbots and monks and, of course, Saint Alban himself.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Between the two galleries discover how these local events linked to a wider national story of historical pageants and learn of their enduring legacy.

This exhibition is a partnership between St Albans Museums, Trestle Theatre and The Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain, a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Sarah Keeling, Curator of Collections (Post Medieval to Contemporary), said: “St Albans residents have always been proud of their history and heritage and the popularity of the pageants demonstrates that. This is a fun exhibition with a great programme of events, so we hope it really captures our visitors’ imaginations. We’re so pleased to be able to bring out objects and items from our collections to tell this story.”

Historian Mark Freeman, from The Redress of the Past, said: “We’re so thrilled to have worked with St Albans Museums on this exhibition. St Albans has such a rich history of pageants and we’re delighted to tell this lesser-known story about the city.”

St Albans Museum + Gallery, St Peter’s Street, St Albans, until Sunday, February 23. Details: 01727 864 511 stalbansmuseums.org.uk