Glastonbury Abbey first came into being around the 7th century then enlarged in the 10th it was destroyed in 1134 by fire and rebuilt again. By the 14th century it was one of the richest abbeys in the country. Face it the place had to be on the top of you list to make a pilgrimage to with King Arther's tomb there. Strange how the Monks just happened to dig in the right place to find it, even stranger how the plaque they found disappeared as well. The Abbey closed in 1539 after the last abbot was hung, drawn & quartered on Glastonbury tor along with two monks who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. No doubt their mates decided that being a monk was not their vocation in life and made big strides away from the place.Today the Abbey is a ruin after centuries of neglect and the material being used to build other parts of the town.
I'll start off by showing you the abbey as it was before it was destroyed in its heyday
Ok I know it's a model of what it looked like but they never had cameras then
This can be seen in the Abbey Museum along with other finds round the site.
Here we look towards the Chancel Arch, if you look at the smaller one on the right you can see a person which gives an idea as to the height of the arch. Bare in mind it was a third again higher than this
Looking across the cloisters to the chancel the guy in the right hand arch gives an idea as to hight
One side of the chacel arch with a chaple over to the right
Our monk was telling us about the lady chapel
which was the crypt beneath the Abbey
The monks found King Aurthur's grave in this old Saxon graveyard nearby. No doubt finding a body that fitted the description of him and surprise surprise found his wife Guinevere beside him, she turned to dust as soon as the coffin was opened. Whats more they found a plaque with an inscription on saying it was King Aurthur. Wonder which monk carved that out.
Don't feel too sorry for the monks they has their own bedrooms
Not far away is this pond though if it was used for keeping fish in it was just for the Abbot
The abbot had his own place next door with it's own great hall you can see the outline here.
He also got a nice view of Glastonbury Tor where the last abbot met his grisly end
The Glastonbury Thorn or one grown from the original on Wirrel Hill supposedly a staff planted by Joseph of Arimathea
which sprouted into a bush. He could well have visited as he was a lead merchant and they mined the stuff not far away. The original was badly damaged by some cider thugs a few years ago.
Sigeric who was a 10 century monk from the Abbey, it was monks like him who built the Abbey he became Archbishop of Canterbury
Here we look across the chaperhouse where all the serious work was done to find ways to make more money for the Abbey
Have a great Sunday.