History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
One of the least known and yet, most interesting, of the Roman sites along the course of Hadrian’s Wall. Carrawburgh Temple of Mithras is a ‘mithraeum’, or temple dedicated to the god Mithras, a form of sun god whose cult became extremely popular among soldiers of the Roman legions.
The Temple stands close to the site of Carrawburgh Roman Fort. The fort is largely unexcavated, but the temple has been well examined. On display are copies of mithraic altars found during excavation on the site.
The Temple was founded in the 3rd century, and went through three distinct phases of construction. The first phase began around the year 200 AD, and created a rectangular temple measuring about 5.6 by 7.9 metres. About 222 AD a second phase occurred, with an extension added to the north. Further rebuilding and interior redesign took place during the course of the 3rd century. The temple was destroyed in 297 AD, then reconstructed at the turn of th3 4th century, before it was finally destroyed for good around 330 AD. That final destruction was quite possibly the work of Christians, who tended to see Mithraism as a threat.
Excavation revealed a large altar to the Nymphs and Genius Loci (spirit of the place) standing just outside the temple entrance.
Excavations at the site also uncovered a shrine to the water nymph Coventina. Unfortunately, the shrine can no longer be seen.
What you can see, however, has been partly reconstructed to show the mithraeum as it would have looked in the early 4th century.
About Carrawburgh Temple of Mithras
Address: Simonburn, Northumberland, England
Attraction Type: Roman Site
Location: Open access site located just south of the B6318.
Website: Carrawburgh Temple of Mithras
English Heritage – see also: English Heritage memberships (official website)
Carrawburgh Temple of Mithras Photos
Opening Details: Open access site, usually accessible at any reasonable time
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Black Carts Turret (Hadrian’s Wall)