Glastonbury Tor, Somerset, England
© Guy Edwardes/Minden Picture
Glastonbury Tor, Somerset
Today we’re exploring the myth and history nestled in the English county of Somerset. And what better place to discover the ancient past than Glastonbury, a site where Pagans and Christians alike have worshipped through the ages, and both groups still do today. Glastonbury Tor is the striking hill on the horizon, and the lonely tower is the last vestige of the 14th-century church of St Michael, which was built to replace a wooden church toppled by an earthquake in 1275.
Adventurous visitors may be intrigued by the legend that suggests you can access the fairy kingdom of Annwn through a secret cave below the Tor. (Visit the lord of the Celtic underworld, Gwyn ab Nudd, while you’re there.) Another legend tells of a visit by the boy Jesus with his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, and how they left the Holy Grail in Glastonbury. And there’s a tale that the town is the site of the mythical Isle of Avalon, where King Arthur went after his final battle. (As far as we know, the Holy Grail has not been found, but in 1191 monks in the community at Glastonbury Abbey announced that they had found Arthur’s grave.)
The ancient and storied site attracts plenty of visitors, some hoping to feel the spiritual aura, others who want to start at the Tor and work their way to Glastonbury Abbey and the Chalice Well and Gardens. Regardless of your own beliefs, historical or spiritual, there’s no disputing it – Glastonbury Tor is a memorable visit.