Minerva’s Shrine - History and Facts | History Hit

Minerva’s Shrine

Lucy Davidson

12 Aug 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Minerva’s Shrine

Minerva’s Shrine is a shrine to the Roman goddess Minerva in Edgar’s Field, Handbridge, Chester.

History of Minerva’s Shrine

Dating from the early 2nd century, the shrine is carved into the face of a sandstone quarry. It is an extraordinary monument, both for its historical significance and because it is the only monument of its kind in Western Europe that remains in its original location.

The shrine stands beside the route of the old main Roman road into the fortress of Deva from the south. As the Roman goddess of war, knowledge, and craftmanship, Minerva is often depicted with a helmet, shield, breastplate, and spear. In this instance, however, she is shown simply standing in a representation of a temple.

The shrine is protected by a 19th century stone surround with a hood which was later refurbished in the 20th century.

Minerva’s Shrine Today

Today, the site is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building. A cast of the shrine is kept in the Grosvenor Museum in Chester.

Getting to Minerva’s Shrine

From the centre of Chester, the site is an 8 minute drive via Handbridge, or a 15 minute walk via Northgate St. The closest bus stop is called Handbridge Garage.

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