After the Conquest of 1066 the Normans took control at the abbey. The Norman abbots Turstin and Herlwin (1101-1120) both undertook building work to improved the abbey. But in May of 1184 a major fire broke out and badly damaged the church. The 'Old Church' was replaced with a new building and the Lady Chapel was complete enough to be consecrated in 1186. The Lady Chapel, located at the west end of the church, can still be seen today.
Myths and LegendsThe abbey is linked to both the Holy Grail and King Arthur. Legend states that Joseph of Arimathea travelled to Avalon with either the Holy Grail or some other Holy relic and buried it near the abbey. King Arthur is associated with the abbey. In 1191 the graves of two people believed to be King Arthur and Queen Guinevere were uncovered in the cemetery. The find would have been very well timed as the church was going through a large amount of building work and the donations given by pilgrims visiting the site to see the remains of Arthur would have been most welcome.
DissolutionThe Abbey was confiscated from the Church as were many others in the period of the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII. The last abbot of at Glastonbury was Richard Whiting and when he refused to hand over the abbey he was arrested and executed for treason at the top of Glastonbury Tor.
Mr Bligh BondAt the beginning on the twentieth century a man called Bligh Bond claimed that he could receive information from long-dead members of the abbey about the locations of the buried structures. The information was sent to him in the form of automatic writing, where Bond would hold the pen but the movements were controlled by the spirits. Whether his explanation is true or not he did uncover several lost sections of the church.
|Glastonbury Abbey Bay Elevation|
|943||Dunstan and Glastonbury|
|Dunstan moved to Glastonbury where he placed the monastery under the rule of the Benedictine Order and became the abbot there.|
|944||Edmund captures York|
|Edmund I took control of York and the surrounding area. He removed sacred relics from the remains of Whitby Abbey and moved them to Glastonbury Abbey.|
|1030||Canute at Glastonbury Abbey|
|King Canute visited Glastonbury Abbey (possibly 1032) to grant the abbey gifts and privileges. He also knelt at the altar and prayed.|
|1126||Henry of Blois at Glastonbury|
|Henry I brought his nephew, Henry of Blois, from Normandy to take the position of abbot at Glastonbury Abbey.|
|1127||Charter for Glastonbury fair|
|Henry I granted a charter for an annual fair to be held at Glastonbury known as the Tor Fair. The reaffirmed the right for the existing fair to be held there.|
|1184||May||Fire destroys Glastonbury Abbey|
|A serious fire damaged the abbey at Glastonbury resulting in the need for major rebuilding work.|
|1191||King Arthur found at Glastonbury|
|From the Chronicles of Meaux Abbey came the report saying 'In the twenty-third year of Henry, the body of Arthur some time king of the Britons were found at Glastonbury, between two stone pyramids formerly erected in the sacred cemetery. Hidden by a hollow oak, lay about fifteen feet deep in the ground. Some confusion with this date as I've also seen the date 1178 from Meaux Abbey chronicles.|
|1275||Earthquake destroys Tor church|
|The church at the top of Glastonbury Tor was badly damaged by an earthquake.|
|1278||Easter||King Arthur's remains reburied|
|King Edward I and Queen Eleanor visited Glasonbury Abbey and ordered that the tomb of King Arthur be opened for their inspection. In a ceremony the remains were taken to the high altar and then reburied.|
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