Are King Arthur and Queen Guinevere really buried in Glastonbury? Why did Henry VIII of England loot and destroy one of the richest and most powerful monasteries in Britain and what happened to the contents of its vast library? Did Joseph of Arimathea visit Glastonbury and plant a thorn tree that blooms at Christmas?
Welcome to Glastonbury, one of the most mysterious places in Europe!
Glastonbury area in Somerset England has been inhabited for over 5,000 years. Here, neolithic people built miles of timber trackways over what was then watery marshes. Some say that this ancient water, long since drained to create Somerset’s picturesque landscape, gave Glastonbury its name of Ynis Witrin or “Isle of Glass.” Or perhaps, the name comes from the legendary Glass Castle of Gwynn, Celtic Lord of the Otherworld and King of the Fairies who lives within Glastonbury Tor?
Glastonbury Tor is a high pyramidal hill, deeply marked with concentric grooves and topped with St. Michael’s Tower, built in the 14th century. Follow the steps up the Tor to view the vast landscape, where in 1934 artist Kathryn Maltwood mapped a zodiac of giant earthworks created thousands of years ago with a circumference of 30 miles.
At the foot of the Tor, the famous Red and White Springs of chalybeate and calcite flow out from the caverns beneath it. Many groups, pilgrims and local people from widely diverse backgrounds and traditions come to visit these sanctuaries and gardens at The White Spring and Chalice Well.
Below the Tor are the romantic ruins of Glastonbury Abbey. This was once one of the most powerful centers of Britain that was destroyed with particular vengeance by Henry VIII. According to the Somerset tradition, it is the site of the oldest church in Britain, which was founded by Joseph of Arimethea. Now, it is a peaceful setting for quiet contemplation among the ancient oak and yew trees.
Join Champion Adventures in a guided tour of Somerset and The Cotswolds in September 2017. Discover more at ChampionAdventuresGlobal.com
Category: Community Stories