Glastonbury Abbey is not the only cool thing in Glastonbury …

The second stop on our July 2005 trip was Glastonbury, England.  We wanted to see Glastonbury Abbey having heard of it’s rich history.  It is absolutely stunning .. and best of all … we found that it was not the only really cool thing that Glastonbury had to offer.

Glastonbury Abbey Ladies Chapel Wall

Glastonbury Abbey Ladies Chapel Wall

King Arthur & Queen Guinevere's Burial Tomb

King Arthur & Queen Guinevere’s Burial Tomb

Construction on the abbey began in the 7th century.   When a fire destroyed many of the buildings in 1184, a period of reconstruction began.  According to local legend, the monks disinterred the bodies of King Arthur & Queen Guinevere, from their graves in a cemetery to the south side of Lady Chapel, in order to raise additional funds from visiting pilgrims.  They were later reburied within the Abbey Church.  When visiting you can see both the place where they were suppose to have been originally buried and their current resting place.  Glastonbury Abbey reached the height of its influence in the mid 14th century as the second wealthiest abbey in England.  However, shortly thereafter, during the reign of King Henry VIII, Glastonbury Abbey was destroyed during a period know as the Dissolution of the Monasteries.  It was due to it’s former power and influence that it became one of the principal victims of the king’s wrath.

High atop a hill overlooking Glastonbury Abbey, known as the Glastonbury Tor, is St. Michael’s Tower.  It is a very steep climb to get to the top but once there the view is breathtaking.  You can see all the way to Wales on a clear day!

St. Michael's Tower atop Glastonbury Tor

St. Michael’s Tower atop Glastonbury Tor

Chalice Well at Glastonbury

Chalice Well at Glastonbury

At the base of the Glastonbury Tor is the site of the ‘Chalice Well‘.    Legends attached to this site
abound … one of the most prominent being that this is where Joseph of Arimethea either buried or washed the Holy Chalice, the cup used at the Last Supper.  This act is said to have purified the water coming out of the well … and to this day the waters are said to have special healing properties.  The park like setting surrounding the Chalice Well is quiet and serene and definitely worth a visit.

 

With a wealth of concerts & festivals, local legends & folklore … Glastonbury is a fascinating place!

 

Categories: Europe

Leave a Reply