School Archivist – Mrs Debbie Turner
St Alban’s Abbey, St Alban’s, England
Inside the first School Chapel
The Alban Bun
St Alban’s, School Chapel under construction c.1920
The Alban Bun originated in the town of St Alban’s in England during the 14th Century. It is claimed that the ‘Alban Bun’, long before the Hot Cross Bun, was the original recipe of Brother Thomas Rocliffe, a Monk at the local St Alban’s Abbey.
The original recipe remains a guarded secret, but ingredients included flour, eggs, fresh yeast, currants and grains of cardamom and bakers today stay faithful to the original 14th Century recipe. The humble Alban Bun had the cross on the top cut with a knife. Later, Hot Cross Buns with the piped cross on top were used instead. These buns traditionally mark the end of Lent and the cross on the top represents the Crucifixion of Jesus with the spices signifying the embalming of his body at burial with the bitter taste of orange peel to mark the bitterness of his time on the Cross.
On 2 November, when The Southport School St Alban’s Chapel celebrates its centenary, Alban Buns will be distributed thus continuing this fine, age-old tradition.
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