The real Glastonbury

So Glastonbury Festival is over for another year. For those in the know, you’ll already be aware that the festival isn’t actually located in Glastonbury. It’s held in a village called Pilton. I’ve been to the Festival many times over the years, but unlike many festival-goers I’ve also spent a fair bit of time in Glastonbury proper. This year, with the big move to Australia on the cards, I didn’t secure tickets. However, I did end up in the town during the run up to the event.

After a perfect weekend in London I headed West to spend some time in Somerset. With my Mum living in the area, I’ve spent many a happy day there. Glastonbury is know for being one of the most hippy places in the UK. It’s also a place surrounded in history and myth. Glastonbury Abbey dates to the first century and during the 1500s was the second most wealthy abbey in Britain (behind Westminster Abbey). Today the ruined remains are located at the bottom of the high street surrounded by beautiful tranquil gardens.

Glastonbury Abbey

Ruins of Glastonbury Abbey

The Lady Chapel, Glastonbury Abbey

The Lady Chapel – built between 1184 and 1186 on the site of the first church at Glastonbury.

With the glorious weather continuing, we took a picnic and basked in the perfect afternoon. My favorite part of the visit was the Abbot’s Kitchen, which is still intact. The kitchen would have served fine food and drink to the powerful abbots. A table in the centre of the room displayed the types of food they would have eaten, including produce grown on the lands surround the abbey.

Display of food on a table at the Abbot's Kitchen, Glastonbury Abbey

I was impressed with the number of fireplaces in the kitchen. The square room had one in each of the four corners, all designed for different types of activity. In one corner there was a special oven for making pies and bread, and on the other side of the room was a large spit for roasting meat.


Tomb of King Arthur at Glastonbury AbbeyKing Arthur at Glastonbury

The town of Glastonbury also has strong links with the legends of King Arthur. In the Abbey you can see a grave marked out. The grave  is said to be the site of the tomb for King Arthur and Guinevere. Interestingly, the sign goes on to say that the bones of the King and his wife were originally buried in a different part of the Abbey, but were later dug up on the orders of King Edward I. They were reburied with much splendor under the watchful eyes of King Edward I and Queen Eleanor in 1278.  As well as enjoying finding out about the history and myths of Glastonbury, it was the perfect day for just strolling in the grounds. Maybe it’s time for Glastonbury to be known for more than music, mud and festival fun.

View of the Tor from Glastonbury Abbey

View of the Tor from Glastonbury Abbey

 

Bye for now…

Sign off

 

 

 

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