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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About Tilly travel

50 something who enjoys being out and about, but doesn't always have the time :)
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