in Pagan Religious Buildings
and Celtic pagan gods
were worshipped in temples all over Britannia.
They might be in towns or on their own in rural country areas.
Rural temples were built
- At the roadside, or
- On top of a hill
- Temples usually had
souvenir shops and hotels nearby for visiting pilgrims.
All these buildings stood inside a
sacred area called a 'temenos'. It was surrounded by a big
- Pilgrims would bring
gifts of tiny metal models of limbs they wanted healed or
symbols of the gods; or perhaps a lead 'curse tablet' calling
for vengeance on a wrong-doer.
- Temples had few windows
and were very dark. There were two main types:
- Classical - like
those in Rome, with a big white portico and lots of
- Romano-British - a
combination of Roman and Celtic styles, with a corridor
around a central shrine room.
- The central shrine would
probably have am object sacred to a particular god:
- An altar
- A statue
- A pool of water
- A fire
- A tree
- Temple priests wore long
robes and elaborate 'crowns'. some wore masks. They might
carry 'sceptres' or sacred weapons to show they were
important. They often performed animal sacrifices.
- Whole towns grew up
around some important temples, like the Temple to Sulis
Minerva in Aquae Sulis (Bath in Somerset).
- In AD 313, the Emperor
Constantine the Great declared Christianity
to be legal in the Empire. This religion became very popular
and some Pagan temples were replaced by