Glastonbury aka Ancient Avalon, located in Somerset, England, has a rich history that spans thousands of years. While some aspects of its early history are shrouded in myth and legend, there are historical elements that provide insights into the mystical history of the area.
- Neolithic and Bronze Age Periods: Archaeological evidence suggests that Glastonbury has been settled since Neolithic times, around 4000 BCE. The nearby Glastonbury Lake Village, an Iron Age settlement, is one of the most notable archaeological sites in the region.
- Celtic and Roman Eras: During the Iron Age and into the Roman period, Glastonbury continued to be inhabited. The Romans had a presence in the area, and some evidence of Roman structures has been found.
- Early Christian Tradition: Glastonbury gained significance in Christian tradition, particularly through legends associated with Joseph of Arimathea. According to some stories, Joseph of Arimathea, a biblical figure mentioned in the Gospels, is said to have visited Glastonbury, bringing with him the Holy Grail and establishing the first Christian church in England. The Glastonbury Thorn, a legendary tree associated with Joseph of Arimathea, is said to have grown from his staff.
- Medieval Period: Glastonbury Abbey, founded in the 7th century, became a prominent religious site in medieval England. The abbey was a center of pilgrimage, and its impressive ruins are still a major attraction today. The abbey became one of the wealthiest and most influential in England until its dissolution in 1539 during the English Reformation.
- King Arthur and Avalon Legends: Glastonbury is also linked to the Arthurian legend, with some traditions suggesting that King Arthur and Queen Guinevere were buried at Glastonbury Abbey. The idea of Glastonbury being associated with the mythical island of Avalon has added to its mystique. You can visit King Arthur’s Abbey to see their graves.
- Mystical and New Age Connections: In more recent times, Glastonbury has become known for its association with mysticism and the New Age movement. The Tor, a prominent hill featuring the ruins of St. Michael’s Church, is considered a place of spiritual significance.
Glastonbury’s historical and cultural tapestry has made it a site of fascination and pilgrimage for people throughout the ages. The town’s diverse history encompasses Celtic mythology, Christian traditions, and mystical beliefs, creating a unique and enduring legacy; and a unification of spiritual traditions converging in one place. Join us in Glastonbury this September for our annual Portal to Ascension Glastonbury Conference.