Monday, 20 August 2012

Glastonbury - Abbey & Tor

A lovely way to spend a Birthday! Down in Somerset at Glastonbury staying and staying at a 600 year old coaching Inn steeped in history and old folk law. Not to mention it's own resident ghost and playing host to Henry VIII as he watched the Abbey burn , more of him later. It really was like stepping back in time. In fact we had been told that it was not unusual to hear Harps and flutes in the rooms. It wasn't long before my heightened senses detected a crude medieval Recorder type sound circulating. Unfortunately the excitement was soon crushed as I discovered a busker below the bedroom window. Famous for it's music festival although the site is being 'rested this year Glastonbury is Glastonbury is a place of religious tourism and pilgrimage due to it's location at the centre of ley lines. Just wandering up the High Street it was clear that the residents were certainly a 'New Age' community!
Glastonbury Abbey is the earliest Christian sanctuary in Britain and legend says Joseph of Arimathea brought Jesus here. History records show the Abbey was standing in the year 600. In 1184 it was rebuilt after a fire, the remains today date from 1184 - 1539. It was then during the Dissolution of the Monasteries that Henry VIII had it demolished. In 1191 legend also says that the monks found the buried remains of King Arthur and Queen Quinevere. This was promoted by medieval monks who insisted that Glastonbury was Avalon. ( the place where King Arthur's sword Excalibur was forged).
Behind St Patrick's Chapel is the Holy Thorn Tree which is said to have originated after Joseph of Arimathea plunged his staff into the ground and it burst into leaf.
Glastonbury Tor is a very steep hill with St Michael's Tower perched on the top. Tor is actually a Celtic word for outcrop or hill. It is truly a stunning site and somewhere I have wanted to visit for years. Remains of a 5th century fort have been found on the Tor. Glastonbury Tor is often cited as one of the possible locations of the Holy Grail. One of several myths along with The seven deep, roughly symmetrical terraces that are one of the Tor's enduring mysteries. I do know that the climb to the top was exhausting but well worth the effort for the spectacular views afforded from the top.

No comments:

Post a Comment