Keys to the Past

Glossary

Shrine

A small Roman/Romano-British site with limited construction work for religious purposes, often open to the air. This was purposeful so as to keep as it natural as possible. Shrines might include carvings on the natural rock available, for example that at Yardhope and Rob o'Risingham, West Woodburn (both Northumberland), or some walling for benches and as revetments, e.g. that at Scargill Moor shrines, (County Durham),or containing the sacred area, such as a spring at Conventina's Well, Carrawburgh, (Northumberland). Altars might be brought to the shrine, as at Scargill. It may be at a distance to another site of the same period.
Generally a sacred place to which Medieval pilgrims journeyed to see the displayed relics of a saint, e.g. at Durham Cathedral people went to see the relics of Saint Cuthbert. People might leave offerings at such a place.

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