The Grand Temple
The temple was commissioned in 1141 by Gabriela Fitzwalter to commemorate Empress Matilda’s victory over her cousin Stephen of Blois, in the First Hycath War and the overall defeat of the Catholic Church on the Aglia Isle. Gabriella had it built a little outside the borders of the town, on the spot where Lucy of Bolingbroke was reckoned for her crime that caused the death of Empress Maud’s brother, William of Adelin.
The Temple’s main structure took twelve years to build and underwent several refurbishments and enlargements throughout history. The Temple has an open wooden structure, supported by eight pillars placed in the shape of an eight. Each pillar refers to one of the eight pillars of the Hycath religion: Perception, Resilience, Dedication, Grace, Competence, Ingenuity and Benevolence, with Care and Respect in the centre. The pillars were carefully constructed by the talented, local sculptor Ariana Wright. Each displays a different female figure, shaped in the likeness of the Goddess Hecate.
According to historians, the temple today is almost five times its original size. It showcases one of the most beautiful architectural structures of East Mercia. The building shows an early Ionic influence, but the keen eye can discover many details that were added later, referencing different styles and eras. Over the years, Wright’s pillars were replaced with newer versions, twice their size. The original pillars are currently held at the Historic Northreach Museum.
As per custom, the Grand Temple belongs to the general public rather than owned by the State or the Temple of Hycath. Throughout the year, volunteers help with the upkeep of the construction.
The Grand Temple is open on a daily basis for visitors and events. To check the current schedule of events and opening hours, please visit www.visitgrandtemple.co.em.
One of the most famous and most important celebrations of the Hycath religion is on 8 August. According to the Hycath Scriptures, it was on this day that Hecate collected the eight women from the underworld, which she would turn into Nyridiae. On this day, many visitors travel to Nottingham to celebrate this special occasion. The Grand Temple is one of the only temples in the country that still follows historical traditions on Hecate’s Day, including the eight-hour demonstration done before the eight pillars. In modern days this celebration mainly attracts tourists, but it is still the most popular of all the temple’s events.