Temple of Mithras, Carrawburgh – Northumberland, England - Atlas Obscura

Temple of Mithras, Carrawburgh

This temple was constructed entirely by Roman soldiers. 

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Today, these small ruins are all that can be seen of the Carrawburgh Roman Fort. 

Mithraism was a Roman religion inspired by the god Mithras, who was originally a Persian warrior god.

As the legend goes, Mithras had captured and killed a sacred bull in a cave. Mithraic temples often envoke a gloomy, cave-like atmosphere. The cult of Mithras placed a great emphasis on valor, honor, and military prowess.

Soldiers based at Carrawburgh fort would have used this temple as a house of worship. The structure was completed around 200 CE and was destroyed around 150 years later. Several Mithraic temples are known to have existed along Hadrian’s Wall, but Carrawburgh’s is the only one where ruins are still visible. This is also the second most northerly Mithraic temple in the country. The three altars found at the temple were all dedicated by commanding officers stationed in the region.

The stones found at the site today are replicas. The originals can be found at the Great North Museum in Newcastle. 

Know Before You Go

This site can be reached through a field, parts of which are uneven and can become muddy. The area is also prone to flooding. There is a car park at the site for a small fee.

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