Glastonbury, Somerset England
Rising like a beacon from the flat Somerset
plain, the Tor seems to beckon the pilgrims who journey in their
thousands to this remarkable spot, once described as 'this holiest
earth'. People come in search of many things: the
Grail;enlightenment; inspiration. Many
claim to have found their goal, and remain in the peaceful market
town to the bewilderment of the local inhabitants.
Beneath the Tor is said to lie a subterranean kingdom ruled over by
the Lord of the Wild Hunt, Gwynn ap Nud, a powerful other-worldly
figure who was once banished by the Celtic St. Collen, but who is
still believed to haunt the hills around Glastonbury. A recent theory
claims the existence of a man-made, sevenfold maze, carved out of
the Tor itself. This, it is said, was once a sacred processional way,
used by priests and priestesses to reach the stone circle which then
crowned the Tor. Modern pilgrims still trace its path to the summit
and speak of visionary experiences when they have done so.
|On top of the Tor
stands the tower of the church of St. Michael.
From the summit of the Tor, which rises some 500 feet above sea level,
there is a panaromic view of the surrounding countryside. Cadbury
Castle can be glimpsed away to the south, and Brent Knoll rises away
to the west, near the Bristol Channel. The Tor was probably once an
island, hence its identification with the mysterious Island of Avalon,
a place between the worlds, where tradition says that Arthur came
to be healed of his wounds and to await his recall in a time of great
need. This is the most likely reason for the legend of his grave being
found in the abbey ruins below the hill.