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