Roadside Shrine

Travel the roads of Britain and the sad reminders of road traffic incidents is often found in tributes in flowers or little items, although a relatively recent action in the UK such shrines are common in places like Greece where elaborate shrines frequently resembling tiny churches are worryingly common place.

Saint_Expédit_route_des_plaines_dsc02353Left- An Italian Shrine to St Expeditus


In the UK even the transient memorial of fading flowers is frowned upon and perceived to be a distraction  to motorists who might add to the problem of further accidents so the likelihood of permanent shrines being part of the British townscape and countryside is slim. Memories are, of course, important: they act as a transition from the past to an uncertain future and monuments to the past whether memorials or memories of every day life make up ‘heritage Britain‘. There are many churches, wells, stones and statues acting as shrines to gods, goddesses, heroes and the prematurely dead.

Taking a lighter approach to the value of shrines I built my Roadside Shrine- living in a small space means there is no attic to keep the boxes of things of my former lives.







The shrine is a repository – built from recycled materials lying around and filled with the sort of things so difficult to throw away – they include some old favourite boots whose soles wore out and one day I was meaning to get them repaired, there is also items from my childhood, items from my child’s childhood that are difficult to part with but without value.P1000229

Life is a long road, and as the scientist philosopher of ancient Greece, Democritus said, life without enthusiasm is like a long journey without an inn; for me that journey is a little easier if I can dump off some of my possessions on the way.

I’m lucky to have the space for such follies, however other people have asked for one for their garden- I’m always happy to oblige [if you live in the UK contact me and I can build something to your tastes for a modest fee- otherwise it not hard to DIY]. As to what happen to all that non- biodegradable waste: I’m in two minds- it would be nice to leave people shrines to future archaeologists but what is more likely is I will move on and be able to part with that former life.



4 thoughts on “Roadside Shrine

  1. “… such shrines are common in places like Greece where elaborate shrines frequently resembling tiny churches are worryingly common place.”

    You imply that all the roadside shrines in Greece each mark the site of a serious road traffic incident. Is that actually the case? Perhaps it is, but I’ve always been under the impression that they date from an earlier era, one in which a devoutly religious population desired sacred sites for prayer on long journeys that were by necessity on foot, or animal-powered.

    PS typo alert: ‘common place’ should be ‘commonplace’ 🙂

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