Glastonbury is a place long entwined with myth and legend, most famously that of King Arthur. Even today it’s a pace that attracts those with an alternative bent, and the town is filled with shops selling crystals, herbs, and various Pagan items. If you’re interested, I also have a post about Glastonbury Abbey. But today I want to take you to Glastonbury Tor.
The Tor rises 158 metres from the flat Summerland Meadows, and there are signs of occupation since the neolithic period – although no one’s been able to ascertain why some of the Tor has been terraced.
There have been a number of buildings built on the top of the Tor. One, St Michael’s Church, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1275. The tower that remains at the top of the Tor now was built in the 14th century. The rest of the building was destroyed during the Dissolution in 1539. And gruesomely, the Tor was the place of execution for Richard Whiting, the last Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, and two of his monks. They were hung, drawn, and quartered.
In 1933 the Tor became the responsibility of the National Trust.
As with much of the land around Glastonbury, the Tor has ties to local myths and legends. It’s said that beneath the hill is a hidden cave to the fairy realm of Annwn, presided over by the lord of the Celtic underworld Gwyn ab Nudd.
There are even connections to Christianity, with Jesus said to have come to Glastonbury as a boy with Joseph of Arimathea. This legend inspired William Blake to write the famous poem ‘Jerusalem’. The same Joseph was said to have brought the Holy Grail here. And the Tor itself could be the mythical ‘The Isle of Avalon’ where King Arthur went after his last battle.
What do you think? Have you ever visited Glastonbury Tor? Please share in the comments.