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Europe 2008 Visual Diary page 54
Glastonbury, Somerset

Some Neolithic flint tools recovered from the top of the Tor show that the site has been visited and perhaps occupied throughout human prehistory. Remains of a 5th century fort have been found on the Tor and this was replaced by the 12th century St. Michael's church. The church was destroyed by an earthquake on 11 September 1275 which was felt in London, Canterbury and Wales. The remains of St Michael's Tower was built in the 15th century and restored in recent times.


Legend has it that King Arthur was buried in the cemetery on the south side of the Lady Chapel, at Glastonbury Abbey. He was buried between two stone pyramids and at great depth. In 1191, prompted by hints and rumours, monks excavated this same spot in the cemetery and dug down sixteen feet, to find an oaken coffin. At a depth of seven feet they found a stone beneath which was a leaden cross with an inscription His iacet inclitus Arturius in insula Avalonia - variously interpreted to read 'Here lies King Arthur buried in Avalon'! The coffin contained two bodies - a great man and a woman, whose golden hair was still intact, until touched, when it crumbled away. The bodies were explained as Arthur's and Guinevere's. A century later in 1278 the bones were placed in caskets and transferred during a state visit by King Edward 1, to a black marble tomb before the High Altar in the great Abbey Church. There they remained until the Abbey was vandalised after the dissolution in 1539. No one has seen, or heard anything of them since. Legend proclaims that after Arthur's death, a powerful spirit haunted the ruins of the Abbey, appearing as a black-armoured knight with red glowing eyes and a burning desire to eradicate all records of the ancient Arthurian legends, which is why, it is said, that those seeking to discover the truth, find so few facts available.

The heavens opened as we arrived at Glastonbury Abbey...perhaps that powerful spirit is still doing his thing today!!


By the time we'd looked through the museum though the sun was shining again!











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