Saints and Stones: Glastonbury Abbey

The first church at present-day Glastonbury was built by missionaries who accompanied King Lucius to Glastonbury from Rome in the 2nd Century. The missionaries built a simple church of wattle and daub (interwoven branches packed with clay) on the site of the present Lady Chapel.

The Saxons, who had been converted to Christianity, conquered the ancient county of Somerset in the 7th Century. Their King was Ine of Wessex, who boosted the status and income of the Abbey, and it is said that he put up a stone church, the base of which forms the west end of the nave. This church was enlarged in the 10th Century by the Abbot of Glastonbury, St. Dunstan, who became the Archbishop of Canterbury in 960 A.D.

In the 11th Century, skilled Norman craftspeople contributed much to the Abbey by adding magnificent buildings, built to the east of the older church and away from the ancient cemetery, to the existing Saxon church. When the monastic buildings were destroyed in the fire of 1184, there is evidence that the 12th Century nave was renovated until some of the work was completed on the new church. The monks reconsecrated the Great Church and began services there on Christmas Day, 1213. In the 14th Century, it was the second wealthiest Abbey in Britain (behind Westminster Abbey). In the 16th Century, it was one of principal victims of this action by King VIII, during the social and religious upheaval known as the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

About Glastonbury Abbey

Glastonbury Abbey Homepage
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: Glastonbury Abbey
Sacred Destinations; Glastonbury Abbey
Wikipedia: Glastonbury Abbey
Wikipedia: St. Dunstan

Journey to Glastonbury Abbey

Glastonbury Abbey is located in the town of Glastonbury in Somerset in southwest England. Glastonbury is approximately 30 miles from the cities of Bristol to the north and Bath to the northeast.

Ordnance Survey Map (ST5002938777)

Visitors Information

Visitors information for Glastonbury Abbey may be found at the Glastonbury Abbey website. General tourism information for Glastonbury may be found at the Glastonbury Online website. General tourism information for Somerset may be found at the Visit Somerset website.

Additional Photos of Glastonbury Abbey

Welcome to Glastonbury Sign Outside Glastonbury Abbey
Glastonbury Abbey Banner
Site of St. Dunstan's Chapel, Glastonbury Abbey
Descriptive Sign for the Lady Chapel, Glastonbury Abbey
The Lady Chapel, Glastonbury Abbey
The Lady Chapel and the Galilee Vestibule, Glastonbury Abbey
The Crypt Underneath the Lady Chapel, Glastonbury Abbey
The West Doorway of the Great Church As Seen through the Galilee, Glastonbury Abbey
Remains of the Nave, Glastonbury Abbey
Remains of Three Bays in the South Aisle of the Nave, Glastonbury Abbey
Doorways to the Great Church, Glastonbury Abbey
Medieval Tiles, Glastonbury Abbey
Remains of Chapel of St. Thomas Becket, Glastonbury Abbey
Remains of the Choir, Glastonbury Abbey
Position of the High Altar, Glastonbury Abbey
Site of King Arthur's Tomb According to Legend, Glastonbury Abbey
Remains of the Monks' Refectory, Glastonbury Abbey
Remains of the Abbot's Hall with the Abbot's Kitchen Behind, Glastonbury Abbey
The Ruins of Glastonbury Abbey

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