Carfin Lourdes Grotto

Today, a visit to Carfin Grotto, Scotland's mini-Lourdes. I love it here, it's incredibly beautiful whether you believe or not. Built in the 1920s it's an amazing collection of statues and shrines to the Virgin Mary and associated saints.

Carfin Lourdes Grotto

I've been before in winter when it was quiet but today it was in full swing. There was a procession snaking its way round the grotto and Hail Marys blasting out over the PA system. We had a little chat about religion as a family (we are not religious). Danny (4) is too small to care about God but he liked it because it was like Doctor Who, full of weeping angels.

Carfin Lourdes Grotto

I visited the reliquary for the first time - a collection of saints' relics. One of the largest collections around, it is extraordinary. Whatever you believe, it's a beautiful, striking place. Makes you think. I'm always knocked out by the design - things that are not 'good taste' look great together (silver and gold together?). The old signs are so grand and the ironwork throughout the grotto is just beautiful.

Carfin Lourdes Grotto

It doesn't feel part of the modern world at all. More photos here.

I've only been to Carfin once but loved it. I liked the incongruity of all that spiritual statuary and relics just 500 yards from an Industrial Estate and lots of crummy Off Licences!

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