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Shrines

The Latin word from which the English is taken means a chest, and a shrine was originally a chest in which a relic was kept (reliquary). It was commonly used to mean a sacred image, especially one to which pilgrimages were made. The most important English shrines were those of St Thomas a Becket at Canterbury; Our Lady at Walsingham; St Edward the Confessor at Westminster Abbey and St Cuthbert at Durham. The Reformation rejected pilgrimages and shrines as meaningless in terms of salvation. These sites were destroyed.