Monument details

HER Number:8449/1
Type of record:Archaeology
Name:Edgar's Field - Minerva Shrine

Summary

‘Edgar’s Cave’ is a shrine to the goddess Minerva, lying on an outcrop of sandstone south of the Dee. The area was originally a quarry in use from 100 AD, and it seems likely that the figure of Minerva was carved during this time by one of the legionary quarrymen. A recess was also cut into the rock behind her and forms a shrine where offerings could be deposited. It is probably also around this time that the lead statuette of Minerva was created, which was found on the bank of the Dee several years ago. Minerva was the goddess of the professions, the arts and war. Her shrine in Rome was a meeting place at one time for dramatic poets and actors. Several temples were erected to her from the spoils of war, reinforcing her position as a bestower of victory.

The shrine remained remarkably well-preserved. Up to the late nineteenth century she could still be clearly seen with an owl - the bird associated with her - on her shoulder, and a sword and spear in her hands. The excellent preservation could have been due to early Christians adopting the shrine as a figure of the Virgin Mary. Since the nineteenth century the figure has much deteriorated due to weathering and vandalism.

Edgar’s Cave is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.


Parish:CHESTER NON PARISH AREA, CHESTER, CHESHIRE WEST AND CHESTER

Monument Types

  • ROCK CARVING (AD 1ST CENTURY to AD 4TH CENTURY - 43 AD to 399 AD)
  • SHRINE (AD 1ST CENTURY to AD 4TH CENTURY - 43 AD to 399 AD)
Protected Status:Listed Building 1375783: ROMAN SHRINE TO MINERVA; Scheduled Monument 1014718: Roman Quarry Including Edgar's Cave and the Rock-Cut Figure of Minerva on Edgar's Field, 150m South West of Dee Bridge; Conservation Area 133: Handbridge (Chester) Conservation Area; Listed Building (old) (I) 1932-1/8/88: Title not entered; Area of Archaeological Importance: Chester & Boughton

Related records

8449/2Related to: Edgar's Field - First to Third Century Quarry, and Quarrying Debris (Monument)
8449/3Related to: Edgar's Field - Probable Large Hearth or Installation (Monument)



Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West & Chester Council - Working in Partnership
Heritage Lottery Fund