Wednesday, 23rd November, 2016

Our accommodation over the last two nights was very comfortable and one of the best places we have been so far. We had a bedroom each which is a luxury when travelling but it certainly makes sleeping easier when neither of us needs to hear the other snoring! (Not that either of us has had any trouble sleeping really - we are so tired at night!)


Glastonbury Tourist Info

Our first stop was Glastonbury where we visited the Tourist Information Bureau. The lady at the desk seemed to think it was quite a nuisance to have customers but we learned of some things to visit.


Glastonbury Abbey is famous because of its link to King Arthur. The monks "found" the tomb of Arthur and his queen in 1191 and this proved to be quite a money spinner for the Abbey because so many pilgrims came to see it. Indeed, even after all these years, the effects of this "find" are continuing! The town has many "new age" shops selling items such as crystals and magic books. We saw many "interesting" people too.

When visiting the Abbey, there is a museum to peruse before going to see the ruins.


This difficult- to-photograph-because-of- the-reflections object is known as the Orthery Cope. The style is typical of the late 14th century and it is thought to have come from the abbey.


cope detail

cope detail

Details of the cope



There have been many archeological finds at the abbey including this grave. It is thought to be that of Bishop Seffrid who became abbot of the abbey in 1120.



Oyster shells used as paint pallets.



These doors are the only wooden things to have survived at the abbey.



A model showing what the Abbey may have looked like before the dissolution. Note the small building at the bottom right. It is the abbot's kitchen and is the only building that survives in tact.


Norman door

A Norman doorway


Lady Chapel

The Lady Chapel, unusually situated at the West end of the church. The platforms are where the floor would have been.



View from the Lady Chapel towards the East end. It was lovely to have some sunlight!



All that's left of the tower are the two pillars at the left.



The pillars of the tower



The site of the "tomb" of King Arthur



The view from the east end looking to the west


nave wall

The west wall of the Nave



All that remains of the refectory. You can see the foundations, the refectory would have been on the first floor, above an undercroft.



The Abbot's Kitchen



One of the fireplaces in the kitchen



A doorway to the Lady Chapel. It still retains its carvings (although in a very weather-beaten state).







The four photos above show the detail of some of the carvings on the doorway.



Some pigeons call the perimeter wall home.


Next on the list was a visit to the Chalice Well. There has been a spring here for at least 2,000 years. It produces over 1,000,000 million litres of water a day and has never failed, even during drought. The water has a metallic taste similar to the mineral springs a Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. There are many legends concerning the well. One of them is that Joseph of Arimathea, who was responsible for the burial of Jesus, brought the chalice used at the Last Supper (The Holy Grail) to England and hid it in the well. The gardens around the site are beautiful and peaceful.


chalice well garden

chalice well garden

chalice well garden

chalice well garden

chalice well garden

chalice well garden

Glastonbury Tor is the tower in the centre of the photo.



With the camera's zoom, it's easier to see!



This is the actual Chalice Well. There were people sitting around it chanting "om". You can see their feet!



This pool is for bathing in the healing waters.




From Chalice Well, we drove to Wells to find our accommodation. We then went to Wells Cathedral for Evensong. Only the men of the Choir were present. The music was the responses by Tallis, Victoria's Magnificat sexti toni, the Nunc Dimittis (plainsong Tone VI) and William Boyce's anthem The Lord is King. The standard was excellent!

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