Saturday, 24 October 2015

Avalon, maybe

Glastonbury Abbey may have been the biggest draw to the town in years past, especially for those Christians wishing to 'buy' their way into Heaven... or at least to ensure some respite from Purgatory. These days though the faithful millions flock to Glastonbury either for the music festivals or to visit the mystical Isle of Avalon.

Glastonbury Tor, known as Ynys yr Afalon to the ancient Britains, is reputed to be the Isle of Avalon from Arthurian legend... well it may or may not be, but one thing is certain; in the days before the Somerset Levels were drained the Tor would have stood proud above a waterlogged landscape. These days the Tor stands proud to the east of Glastonbury town and is a landmark visible from miles around.

Glastonbury Tor
Whether you believe in Arthur, the Once and Future King, or not is entirely up to you, but if he existed he may well have visited Glastonbury and consequently the Tor.

Gwyn ap Nudd's home?
Other folk, those who believe in fairies for example, believe Glastonbury Tor to be the home of Gwyn ap Nudd, King of the Fairy Folk... mmmm, yeah, right.

The actual Tor itself is a conical hill topped with the remains of St. Michael's Tower, all that remains of St. Michael's Church erected in the 14th century by Abbot Adam of Sodbury. The tower is a grade 1 listed building managed by the National Trust.

St Michael's Tower
Should you visit Glastonbury for whatever reason I urge you to make the effort and climb the Tor... it's not easy, but it is worth it... the views from the top are simply stunning, especially on a clear day.