Sometimes I comment on your blogs after you have visited me, however the comment you get from me may not be from the site you visited. That’s because I have more than one blog.
So here is a list of my other ones. ūüėė

Crafting

A new me

Our garden

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If you get bored here over there on the right under pages there’s some more rubbish to read.

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Tilly

 

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Thatcher Cider Tour

Myrtle Farm
Station Rd,
Sandford,
Winscombe
BS25 5RA

Admission £12 per person

A nice little informative tour of the Thatchers factor and a little look at the orchard, (from the top of a bank). The tour all depends on which parts of the factor are working because of safety issues.¬† We saw where the apples are brought in and taken into the factor, we heard about the apples that are used and the mixing process. I hadn’t realised that cider is made from eatting apples, cooking apples and cider apples or a mixture of each.¬† We saw the bottling process and the 150 year old oak vats it all ended with a tasting session.¬† ¬†I am quite partial to a drop of 458.

Thatchers is a family run business and at this time is run by fourth generation cider maker, Martin who took over in 1992. It all started in 1904 when William John Thatcher first made his first apple cider at Myrtle Farm. His farm workers had the cider as part of their wages, and the ciders were said to be the best around. Stanley Thatcher who was born in 1910, was the real cider pioneer, he  decided to start making draught cider and sold a lot to local pubs. In 1965 they got their first  hydraulic press, in 1970 John Thatcher took over the business, expanding the orchards and the presses. The vats were moved to their new home in 1981.

The factor also has a pub attached called The Railway which is a nice little pub, there is also a Thatchers shop just up the road to buy your goodies. A nice couple of hours even if you don’t like cider.

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Glastonbury Abbey

Glastonbury Abbey
Abbey Gatehouse
Magdalene Street
Glastonbury
Somerset
BA6 9EL

Admission Adults £8.25 child £4.95

The Saxons, who had converted to Christianity, conquered Somerset in the 7th Century. Their King was Ine of Wessex, who was  regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of the abbey, a local man who boosted the status and income of the abbey, and it is thought that he put up a stone church, the base of which forms the west end of the nave.

In the 10th century the church was enlarged by the Abbot of Glastonbury, St. Dunstan, (  Sigeric the Serious ), who in 906 became the Archbishop of Canterbury.

In 1066, the abbey fell to the Normans. The skilled Norman craftsmen  added magnificent buildings to the east side of the existing Saxon Church.  In 1086, when the Domesday Book was commissioned to provide records and a census of life in England, Glastonbury Abbey was the richest monastery in the country.

In 1184 the Norman structure burnt down and many of the ancient treasures were destroyed. One story/legend says that in 1191 the monks dug up the bones of King Arthur and his Queen Guinevere from a deep grave in the cemetery on the south side of the Lady Chapel to raise extra funds from pilgrims (pay to see, I presume) to rebuild the abbey.  These bones were reburied in 1278 within the Abbey Church, in a black marble tomb in the presence of King Edward I. After the fire the  monks needed to find a new place to worship. There is evidence that the 12th century nave was renovated and used for this purpose until the Grate Church was completed some 30 years later and services began again in 1213,

In 1536¬† Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries saw the end of the church.

As well as the abbey the grounds contain another descendant of the Holy Thorn, St. Patrick’s Chapel which is really sweet, a statute of ¬†Sigeric the Serious and boy, museum and gardens. The gardens have pools and a nature walk.

For me the Abbey ruins didn’t have the feel of a spiritual place, I don’t know what it was but it just didn’t have the feel. It has more of the feel of a park with ruins in it. That said it is very pretty.

We didn’t look around the museum as there seemed to be a school trip of some kind going on, and we got half way around the grounds before we had to give up due to the weather, it was extremely hot and neither of us felt like continuing, (perhaps we had been a little to adventurous that day given the heat and the other sites we had seen).¬† so another visit¬† may be needed.

 

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The Chalice Well and Gardens

The Chalice Well and Gardens
Chilkwell Street,
Glastonbury,
Somerset
BA6 8DD

Admission Adult £4.50 Child £2.50

(The photo is of me in the healing pool, yes I do believe in this type of thing, I also took the Red waters and the White waters from the White spring although we didn’t go in as it was closed)

Chalice Well gardens is not just a garden it’s a place of spirituality, calm and love. (I have heard people say it’s just a very small garden, I think¬† these people either don’t get it or have no soul).¬† I felt really at home here, I just wish I lived nearer.

It’s not a garden to rush around or be loud in and it does have rules.

No smoking,  no alcohol,  switch off phones,  Supervise children, respect the designated areas for quite reflection, remain fully clothed and only eat in the meadow.

The Chalice Well Trust was established in 1959 by Wellesley Tudor Pole to protect the well and waters enable visitors and pilgrims to receive inspiration and enjoyment from the gardens, and healing from it’s waters.

The garden is small¬† but built with lots of little hideaways in which you can sit quietly and contemplate¬† the red waters run throughout the garden and can be bathed in at King Arthur’s¬† Healing Pool and drank from the Lions Head.

The first pool is the Vesica, the water falls from seven bowls into a large pool then into another pool, then into a small river which runs across the lawn. Next King Arthur’s Court and Healing pool, the pool as been on this spot since the 18th century and is fed by a cascade in which you an see the red iron that makes the water red.¬† Just above this is the Lions Head from here you can take the waters, no more than a few sips as¬† the water is very rich in iron. Just above this is the Holy Thorn, well an off cut of. The real Holy Thorn can be found on Wearyall Hill. Then a small path takes you onto the Well Head and Sanctuary but before this on the left hand side hidden in the tall plants is¬† the Angel Seat, tucked under an ivy arch, the back of the seat as an Angle statue to sit next to. The Sanctuary has a small corner with a Madonna and child and a place to sit, and The Well Head. The cover of the well has a wrought iron Vesica Piscis with a lance passing through it. The Vesica Piscis is an ancient symbol of two interlocking circles symbolising¬† the union of heaven and earth, or spirit and matter. The waters ¬†flow ceaselessly at a steady rate and temperature that never varies. Legend has it that¬† Joseph of Arimathea buried the Chalice used at the Last Supper and used to catch some of Christ blood at his Crucifixion here and a spring of red water bubbled up.¬† ¬†Others¬† believe the waters are¬† a gift from Mother earth an acknowledged as the essence of life and the unbound life force.

 

‚ÄúThe more love we reflect and share with one another, the greater will be the supply available to us: a supply that is infinite, boundless, never failing and eternal. When the truth of this realisation is recognised and utilised we shall be on the first lap of the road leading to the arrival of ‚ÄúHeaven on Earth.‚ÄĚ‚Ä̬†– Wellesley Tudor Pole

We then moved on to the Abbey.

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Glastonbury Tor and Gog and Magog

Free

We stated our day by walking the lanes and across fields to Gog and Magog, two ancient oaks, thought to be the entrance to Avalon. Gog was burnt down in 2017 and Magog is sadly dying, so I wanted to see them before they were gone completely. There are several ways to get to the oaks depending on where you start, all of them involve hills and lanes, unless you are on the OLD OAKS campsite which is right by the side of them. From there you can walk to the Tor, following well signed butterfly filled tracks, really I have seen so many butterflies.

The Tor rises 158m (518ft) above the surrounding flat land, the top being reached from Stone Down Lane by way steps and pathway or from Well House Lane by all steps. Once at the top there is a  uninterrupted 360-degree view, which on the day we were there was marvelous.

There are many legends and myths attached to the tor. One legend is that beneath the hill,   is a hidden cave through which you can pass in to the fairy realm of Annwn. There dwells the lord of the Celtic underworld Gwyn ab Nudd with the Cauldron of Rebirth.  Another is   the Holy Grail brought here by Jesus’s uncle, Joseph of Arimathea lies here, but it is also thought that the Holy Grail is in the Chalice  well.

The tower has not always stood upon the tor. The tower is all that remains of the 14th-century church of St Michael. It replaced a church destroyed by an earthquake.

The tower has a grizzly past, in 1539 during the reformation when Glastonbury Abbey was suppressed the last Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, Richard Whiting, was hung, drawn and quartered here along with two of his monks.

It’s a long walk up the tor, made easier because of the steps, we even saw small children climb up, but the climb is well worth the walk.

We ascended from Stone Down Lane and descended onto Well House Lane, where we headed to our next stop The Chalice Well

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Somerset Rural Museum

Somerset Rural Life Museum
Chilkwell Street
Glastonbury
Somerset
BA6 8DB

Admission Adults £7.50 child £3.50

A small museum with a small meadow and courtyard.
Farmyard Galleries, Working Village
The first two galleries tell the story of working life in rural Somerset, information boards and artifacts tell the story of rich and poor. It explores the history of food production and farming, that said we learnt a lot more from an elderly visitor who was wandering around.

There is a 1948  Farmhouse Kitchen where you can listen to the Mapstone family getting on with their daily lives as you look around taking in the table that is laid for dinner, the Victorian range and outdoor loo.

There’s a gallery dedicated to¬† celebration.¬† From¬† feast days, to the harvest home and wassail.

Outside in the court yard there is access to a small cafe and the Abbey Barn which is really worth seeing, it is truly beautiful.¬† The Abbey Barn was built in the 1340’s and belonged to the Abbey. The grade I listed barn is 93 feet long and has two central porches. It has a¬† two-tier raised base-cruck roof and impressive carved stonework. The barn is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument.¬† The court yard is also home to a raised grain store and a magnificent Iron horse. Just off the court yard is The Meadow in here you will find a small allotment, bees,¬† sheep, and shepherds hut.

 

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Glastonbury

Glastonbury is a town in southwest England. It’s known for its ancient and medieval sites, it’s myths/legends and ley lines. Glastonbury a melting pot of weird and wonderful people and places. Our visit was far to short, we need to return. The high street is a mix of old and new, of day to day shops mixed with new age and magic (witches and spells not birds in hats type) shops, vegan and vegetarian cafes. Sit and take a look around and you will see people in suits, mainstream clothes, hippy, people in heels, flats, and no shoes at all and no one turns an hair. The whole place as a calm peaceful feel.

legend has it that Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Grail to Britain and on his arrival Joseph stuck his thorn staff into the ground, which burst into bloom. (A branch from this tree is sent to the royal family every Christmas and is made party of the table decorations). Joseph is said to have established England’s first church at Glastonbury founding the town. The mystery of what happen to the Holy Grail remains a mystery, although some believe it to be still buried beneath Glastonbury Tor, in what is known today as the Chalice Well.

Glastonbury’s earliest history is closely linked with that of King Arthur. A nearby fort at South Cadbury is thought to have been the site of his castle at Camelot. Legend has it that Arthur was buried on the Tor, which was then the Isle of Avalon and surrounded by the flooded Somerset Levels. However the Abbey also claims to have had him buried there and in 1184 ¬†the monks excavated and unearthed the bodies of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere ¬†in an attempt to raise money from pilgrims to rebuild the abbey after a fire

The Saxons conquered the county of Somerset in the 7th century AD. Their king put up a stone church, which forms the west end of the nave of Glastonbury Abbey. The abbey gained much wealth, from the community that grew around it so that by the time William the Conqueror arrived, it owned a considerable amount of land. Under the Normans, Glastonbury saw many changes. Grander buildings were added to the abbey and a new Norman abbot was appointed. By 1086, it was recorded as being the richest monastery in the country. However  in 1184, a massive fire raged through its buildings, destroying many monastic treasures.

In the 16th century, King Henry VIII ‘s and his saw the abbey closed (1539) which had a profound effect on the town. The abbot’s refusal to submit ended with his execution and that of two other monks. In the 17th century, Glastonbury’s fortune was revived by the arrival of the cloth industry. Then¬† a short period during the 18th century when it enjoyed a reputation as a spa town. A pump room was built, but an outbreak of smallpox in 1753 did nothing to attract prospective visitors.

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Barricane Beach

Barricane is a pretty cove tucked in between coastal rocks, famous for Cowries and other exotic sea shells. The day we were there there were several groups searching for Cowries and one person made quite a haul. Local folklore says that these shells have travelled off the shore of a Caribbean island thousands of miles across the Atlantic to be dropped in near-perfect condition in this precious little inlet on the North Devon coast and it is the best place in Britain to find them.

The beach as a small cafe which sells Sri Lankan fare as well as sandwiches teas and coffees at very reasonable prices.

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