Situated in a quiet location to the rear of St Mary, car park, the site is overlooked
by the fabulous hillside of Longbarrow.
Each year there is a Diocesan Pilgrimage to the shrine, usually in September and
usually attended by the Bishop of Lancaster.
There is also a yearly Knights of St Columba pilgrimage.
The shrine is a replica of Lourdes.
The communities of Cleator and Cleator Moor were dependent on the mining and iron
industries, and during the Great Depression of the 1920s and 1930s, times were very
difficult for many. Fr. Clayton (priest in Cleator from 1904 to 1954) placed an appeal
in the national Catholic press, and generous support was received from around the
country.To provide employment for some of the parishioners Fr. Clayton bought some
land adjoining the church's site and asked for volunteers to help construct a replica
of the Grotto at Lourdes. These volunteers were rewarded with vouchers for food and
The Grotto was opened on the 30th October 1927, and rapidly became a focus for pilgrimage
from all parts of the diocese. The tradition of pilgrimage continues with a number
of groups coming each year. In early September the diocesan pilgrimage brings several
hundred people together.