New statues mark St Albans Cathedral's 900th anniversary
Seven statues have been installed to complete work that started more than 665 years ago as part of a cathedral's 900th anniversary celebrations.
The sculptures of the martyrs stand in the medieval nave screen in St Albans Cathedral, which is thought to have been put up "quickly" in 1350.
It is believed to be the first time painted statues have been restored to a such a screen since the Reformation.
Sculptor Rory Young said working in the building had been a "huge privilege".
Niches in the nave screen were left empty and Mr Young believes this was because of the Black Death.
"I think the abbot probably said, 'Just get it done quickly' to keep [the clergy] separated from the people," he said.
"You can see the workmanship getting more and more hurried the further up you look."
The new statues were gifted to the cathedral by a former High Sheriff of Hertfordshire Richard Waldock, OBE, and lay canon Susan Walduck.
Four are martyrs with local connections - St Alban, Amphibalus, the priest he sheltered, Catholic priest Alban Roe, who was imprisoned in the Abbey Gatehouse, and Protestant George Tankerfield, who was burned at the stake near the cathedral.
Three lived in the 20th Century and represent the cathedral's ecumenical congregations - Russian Orthodox St Elisabeth Romanova, German Lutheran Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Roman Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero.
Mr Young said: "Statues in churches are not normally painted and St Albans cathedral has more colour in it than any other in these islands in my opinion.
"If you can't do it here, you never will."
Cathedral Dean, the Very Revd Dr Jeffrey John said: "The presence of all these saints together... is a powerful statement that sanctity is not the possession of any one faith or denomination."