Temple of Mithra - Carrawburgh, Northumberland.

Temple of Mithra - Carrawburgh, Northumberland.
Temple of Mithra - Carrawburgh, Northumberland.
Temple of Mithra - Carrawburgh, Northumberland.
Temple of Mithra - Carrawburgh, Northumberland.
Temple of Mithra - Carrawburgh, Northumberland.
Temple of Mithra - Carrawburgh, Northumberland.
Temple of Mithra - Carrawburgh, Northumberland.
Temple of Mithra - Carrawburgh, Northumberland.
Temple of Mithra - Carrawburgh, Northumberland.
Temple of Mithra - Carrawburgh, Northumberland.


We had come to Northumberland because of its wonderful dark sky area and were set for some serious star gazing. In the daytime though, despite the biting wind and lashing rain, we decided we'd visit Hadrian's Wall and were delighted to discover - quite by accident -  the beautiful Temple to Mithra, a Persian warrior god who, according to legend, entered a cave and killed a bull that had been created at the dawn of time.

The temple stands close to the site of Carrawburgh Roman Fort. Mithra was hugely popular with Roman soldiers. The cult of Mithras placed great emphasis on valour, honour, and military prowess and Temples of Mithras, or mithraea, were fairly common in civilian settlements close to Roman forts. Several are known to have existed along Hadrian's Wall, but sadly Carrawburgh's is the only one that can be seen today.

Temples of Mithras tended to be sunk into the surrounding landscape and be entirely without windows, in an attempt to recreate the sense of the dark cave in which the bull was slain. What we found at Carrawburgh was a stone base of a rectangular building, in a rugged landscape, with walls rising up to about eight courses at their highest. It isn't of course, a complete building, but you really got the sense of what it was like.

At the north end of the Temple are three altars. One has a depiction of Mithra with three pierced holes above his head. A candle or lamp would have been placed behind the altar so that its light shone out through the holes  giving a halo effect. It must have been wonderful to enter the dark temple, lit only by the flickering candlelight, shining out through the altar. 

It was so emotive, even with the driving rain, it made no difference, we loved it! Offerings from others who have visited were in evidence. I'm always so happy when I see the lovely offerings of fellow Pagans, left with respect and love. It gives me the feeling of comradeship knowing they, too, have come to this place and have loved it.

The Temple was founded in the 3rd century, destroyed in AD 297, reconstructed at the turn of the 4th century, before being finally destroyed around AD 330. This final destruction was quite possibly the work of Christians, who saw Mithraism as a threat.

There is a large pay and display car park on the south side of the B6318 and there is a helpful information panel showing how the site was built and how it evolved over time. 

A BIT ABOUT MITHRAISM : Mithraism is a religion that has its roots in the Hindu Vedas. It developed an independent following in Persia about five hundred years before the Christian story of Jesus and further developed in Zoroaster's movement . It was at its height in ancient Rome around the third century - the same period that Christianity was growing in popularity. In the 4th century, Mithraists faced persecution from Christians and the religion was subsequently suppressed and eliminated in the empire by the end of the century.

  • Mithra was born on December 25th of the virgin Anahita.

  • The baby was wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed in a manger and attended by shepherds.

  • He was considered a great traveling teacher and master.

  • He had 12 companions 

  • He performed miracles.

  • As the 'great bull of the Sun,' Mithra sacrificed himself for world peace.

  • He ascended to heaven.

  • He was identified with both the Lion and the Lamb.

  • His sacred day was Sunday, 'the Lord's Day', hundreds of years before the story of Jesus

  • His religion had a eucharist or 'Lord's Supper.'

  • Mithraism emphasized baptism.



Who are we?

White Witch is a wonderful emporium of Pagan and Witchcraft gifts and essentials, established in 1999 by Debbie, they operate from their 500 year old shop in Waltham Abbey, Essex and is staffed by friendly Witches. 

We hold in stock a large range of  Pagan altar figures of the God and Goddess in their many forms, the Green Man, a large selection of Witches' tools, including Witches' cauldrons, Witches' wands, Witches' athames, Witches' robes and cloaks, Witches' Books of Shadows, Witches' spells and magic ingredients and all things witchy and wonderful!

We also have an extensive range of crystals - from large geodes to tumblestones, lots of pagan jewellery, candles, herbs, tarot cards, herbal teas and more.

Our online shop is a digital window into our magickal store and we hope you'll find what you're looking for. If you need any extra help or advice, then please call or visit us instore at Waltham Abbey (Essex) where we will be only too happy to welcome you with a  cup of  tea and a smile.

t: 01992 712 794


Brief History Paganism: 

Paganism represents a wide variety of traditions that emphasize reverence for nature and a revival of ancient polytheistic and animistic religious practices.  Paganism is not a traditional religion per se because it does not have any official doctrine, but it does have some common characteristics joining the great variety of traditions. One of the common beliefs is the divine presence in nature and the reverence of the natural order in life. Spiritual growth is related to the cycles of the Earth and great emphasis is placed on ecological concerns. Monotheism is almost universally rejected within Paga

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