Friday, September 18, 2015

Deep in ancient history...

A very restless nights' sleep left us feeling less than perky this morning, but after we had some excellent coffee and breakfast at the Glastro Cafe, we were feeling perky! First stop was the Glastonbury Abbey ruins.

view along St Mary's Chapel
The abbey was founded in the 7th century and enlarged in the 10th, before a major fire in 1184 destroyed the buildings. It was rebuilt and by the 14th century was one of the richest and most powerful monasteries in England. The abbey was suppressed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII of England. The last abbot, Richard Whiting (Whyting), was hanged, drawn and quartered as a traitor on Glastonbury Tor in 1539.

Abbey chapel mural
From at least the 12th century the Glastonbury area was
frequently associated with the legend of King Arthur, a connection promoted by medieval monks who asserted that Glastonbury was Avalon. Christian legends have also claimed that the abbey was founded by Joseph of Arimathea in the 1st century.

The grounds cover 36 acres, and it is a wonderful place to visit! Such a tranquil setting in spite of the busy town street right on the other side of the abbey wall.

view from south lawn

After visiting the abbey we popped into a couple of shops, then went back to the room for a bit.  Then we headed for the town on Wells, which was a quick bus ride away.  There, we visited the Bishop's Palace. The Bishop's Palace and accompanying Bishops House at Wells is adjacent to Wells Cathedral and has been the home of the Bishops of the Diocese of Bath and Wells for 800 years.

Dining hall

Ancient walls, and a moat surround the palace.  The grounds, and adjacent gardens are beautiful!

The palace was originally surrounded by a medieval deer park. When the walls were built, streams were diverted to form the moat as a reservoir. In the 1820's, the grounds within the walls were planted and laid out as pleasure grounds by Bishop George Law, who created a reflecting pond near the springs. Parts of the buildings are still used as a residence by the current bishop, however much of the palace is now used for public functions and as a tourist attraction.

After a long day of walking through history, we settled down in the best pub in all of Glastonbury -- The George and Pilgrims!

Reputed to be haunted, the pub, and inn, was featured on the television show "Great British Ghosts".

It has the most amazing atmosphere, and is a must for anyone stopping in, or passing through Glastonbury.  Dinner was delicious, and of course, the Guinness was perfect!

 Now it's time to finish packing, because we must be out of here early to catch our train to Penzance.  Cornwall here we come!

Stay tuned...

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