Monday, July 16, 2012

Legend of King Arthur • Glastonbury

Located in the English West Country county of Somerset, some 20 miles (35 km) south of Bristol. Glastonbury is best known for the myths and legends surrounding both Glastonbury Tor, a prominent hill rising up from the surrounding flat landscape; Glastonbury Abbey, which together have made the town a thriving centre for mystical, New Age, alternative spirituality; and the annual Glastonbury Festival, a summer music festival that has been likened to the equivalent of an ongoing Woodstock music festival.

Glastonbury has been described as a New Age community which attracts people with New Age and Neopagan beliefs, and is notable for myths and legends often related to Glastonbury Tor, concerningJoseph of Arimathea, the Holy Grail and King Arthur. In some Arthurian literature Glastonbury is identified with the legendary island of Avalon. Joseph is said to have arrived in Glastonbury and stuck his staff into the ground, when it flowered miraculously into the Glastonbury Thorn.

Glastonbury is also the reputed site of Arthur's grave which was found around 1190. It is said a Welsh or Breton bard divulged its location to Henry II, telling that he was buried in the monk's graveyard at Glastonbury between two pyramids. Excavation revealed a cross with "Arthur" inscribed on it and a hollowed out log coffin with the bones of a tall man and a smaller person presumably Guinevere. Modern reexcavation found that there was an actual early buriel but the cross cannot be found.