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in Temples across the Thames
- There were several temples
gods in Roman Berkshire.
- They stood inside a sacred area
called a 'temenos'. It was surrounded by a big wall.
- They were
visited by lots of pilgrims just like churches in later
- The main ones were at Frilford,
- Frilford was a religious
centre: a small town which grew up around at least two temples.
- One temple was big and
square, with a later extension.
- A smaller round one had a
sacred flame inside it.
- Among the buildings in the
town was a large stone hotel for pilgrims.
- It also had an amphitheatre (big
arena) for religious ceremonies and a big cemetery.
- Some temples were built at the
side of the road, like the one at Weycock
Hill in Waltham St. Lawrence, near Maidenhead.
- Weycock means 'Wayside
Mound'. The road was the Camlet Way between Calleva (Silchester)
and Verulamium (St. Albans). The mound was over the temple ruins.
- In Victorian times the
walls under the mound still stood 2.5 metres high.
- It was a big octagonal
temple with a covered walkway around it.
- Some people think it was
dedicated to Venus, the Goddess of Love.
- There were a few buildings
nearby. They were probably shops and hotels for pilgrims.
- Other temples were built on
their own, often on hilltops. There was a
Roman temple on St. Leonard's Hill at Clewer near Windsor.
- It might have been dedicated
to Cernunnus, a god who was long remembered in the area as Herne
- Legoland has now been built over
- There was another temple on Lowbury
Hill, on the border of Aston Upthorpe and Aldworth.
- Lots of sheep bones were
found there and a small statue of a cockerel. It may have been
dedicated to Mercury, the Messenger of the Gods. These were his sacred animals.
- Pilgrims gave lots of
brooches and other jewelry to the god worshipped there.
- Lots of oysters were eaten
at the temple.
- Special religious spears
with bells have been found there. What strange ceremonies were
they used in?
- It later had a Saxon burial
mound built next to it.
- Some Roman temples were later replaced
by Christian churches. There seem to have been temples where the
churches at Finchampstead and Hampstead Norreys now stand.
- There was a small round temple
at Faringdon. These are usually called
- The Uffington
White Horse was also important in Roman religion. They held annual
fairs there. Dragon Hill, near the horse, may have been an open air