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The Abbey and grounds are open every day except Christmas Day from 9 in the morning till 4pm in the winter and then the times increase to 5pm and finally in summer it shuts at 6pm. The price for entry is £6 for an adult, concessions are £5 and children £4 and under 5s are free.
Most of the Abbey grounds is wheel chair friendly including The Lady Chapel which has a special 'bridge' so that the part below can be seen from above and no stairs need to be climbed. You can take your dogs in on leads and there are dog loos so you are asked to clean up after your own pet.
These amazing ruins show clearly what destruction took place of religious buildings as a result of King Henry VIII's separation from the Catholic Church. This was once the grandest and richest Abbey in England. Apparently many of the older buildings in the town are actually built from the rubble so the people at the time benefitted from the destruction if nothing else. Although the Abbey is in ruins it remains a centre of worship throughout the year.
Glastonbury is said to be the birthplace of Christianity in England and even today it remains a major centre of Christian Pilgrimage and the abbey is one of the places people visit.
It is still quite beautiful as a ruin but the pictures that show what it was like before its destruction show it to be a huge building easily as big as most of our large cathedrals and no doubt the valuables were looted and melted down or sold.
Within the beautiful 37 acre grounds you can find the place that is supposedly the burial place of King Arthur of 'The knights of the round Table' fame and his beautiful wife Queen Guinevere. This grave is near the Lady Chapel but at some time in history this grave was dug up and the remains of the two bodies were placed in the main Abbey and this spot is now known as the site of King Arthur's tomb.
The story is based on the fact that records exist to say that Arthur was wounded at the battle of Camlan around the year 542. The wounded Arthur was taken across the water to the Isle of Avalon for his wounds to be healed. Glastonbury was an island at that time as this was before all the drainage ditches were dug. He was probably brought there to the monastery as this would be a place where medical attention was available. Sadly he didn't recover and so Arthur is said to have been buried in the cemetery on the south side of the Lady Chapel. Even if you don't believe this it makes a good story and all adds to the mystery that surrounds this special place.
As you wander around the ruins it is hard to imagine that you are in the heart of the town. The grounds are so beautifully peaceful with duck ponds, huge ancient trees and of course the ruins of the Abbey to walk around. They are a sanctuary of quiet and make a great place to escape from the hustle and bustle of shopping.
It was supposedly the first Christian sanctuary in Britain and many believe that Joseph of Arimathea as well as Saints David and Saint Patrick have all visited this holy place. While Joseph of Arimathea was there he is meant to have stuck his staff in to the ground and from this sprung the Holy Thorn tree that can be still seen in the grounds. There are a few of these trees around Glastonbury and it makes another good story if nothing else.
The Visitor's Centre is fairly new I believe and has a number of very interesting museum type exhibits. There is an amazing model of the Abbey as it might have looked in 1539 which shows just how huge a building it must have been in the tiny town of the time. There is an explanation about the Thorn tree and the legend around this. It is worth a look as it does give you a bit of history around the abbey and the town as well.
Thanks for reading and I trust this had been of some interest to you. This review will be posted on other sites under my same user name.