Have a shrine time on Street Pew

5 Aug 2015

Ireland is famous for having a large amount of roadside grottos and Marian shrines (shrines to the Virgin Mary).

A product of the country’s Catholic past, most towns and villages would be home to some kind of grotto or shrine, with Marian shrines in Ireland a common sight – and most are still very well maintained, even though the Catholic fervour of most people in the country has declined a lot in recent years.

And, of course, as everything is now on Google Street View, including sheep and, soon, Ireland’s most remote places, it seems only natural that someone would set up a website to bring together a map of all Ireland’s shrines and roadside grottos.

Called Street Pew (10/10 for that name), the interactive map allows people to find a shrine or grotto on the map and submit it to the site to add to the site’s knowledge of roadside shrines.

Set up in 2013, the site has already had many submissions, with grottos and shrines from all over the country available to view.

It’s quite entertaining to see the location of some of the shrines – in someone’s garden, seemingly in the middle of a housing estate – and it is certainly a case where you’d have to say, ‘only in Ireland’.

See a selection of shots from the site below, click on any of the photos for a larger version…


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Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic.com’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note.

Main Virgin Mary grotto image via Shutterstock

Brigid O Gorman is a former sub-editor of Silicon Republic.