Organisations and Centres

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Glastonbury in the Middle Ages

In the middle ages, Glastonbury Abbey was the organisational centre of the town and a powerhouse of spirituality, creativity, learning and teaching. The abbey church was one of the grandest in England[1] and was surrounded by acres of parkland. There was regular prayer, a choir, a great library and a school. The monks created artistic artefacts, translated books and taught in the school and had strong links to the University of Oxford where many of the monks were sent to train. In 1539, the Abbey was closed and the buildings allowed to decay; the creative heart of Glastonbury all but disappeared, and the town that had supported the Abbey drifted into isolation in the backwaters of the West Country.

Early 1900's

In the early 20th century came a new awareness of the town as a place of special interest. The Church of England purchased the Abbey remains and grounds and commissioned Bligh Bondto research the ruins. Alice Buckton purchased the Chalice Well, started a school and organised Arthurian pageants. Rutland Boughton produced operas in The Assembly Rooms, Katherine Maltwood discovered the Glastonbury Zodiac and a renowned esotoricist, Dion Fortune moved to live in the town.

The 70's and 80's

This activity died down during the second war but in the 1970’s a new interest was born. This took the form of so-called ‘hippie travellers’ arriving in increasing numbers. By the 1980’s there were some 300 people[2] who felt that they had been called to live in the town and who made up a recognised local community interested in the spiritual and esoteric nature of the town.

Into the New Century

Almost five centuries after the closure of the abbey, the town was once again thriving as a spiritual and creative centre with around 3,000 residents who feel that they have been drawn by the sacred qualities of the town. Glastonbury became recognised as a centre of learning, teaching, creativity and spirituality. The newcomers included an extraordinary range of talent – artists, academics, authors, teachers, technicians, therapists, business people and musicians.

These people are offering, as individuals, courses, workshops, healing and other services; their provisions drawing people from all over the world. Many of those individuals have also come together in small groups to organise community projects, also offering a wide range of services, and looking after the sacred sites of the town. On this Glastopedia site we are building up information on these activities.

Below is a list of the pages that have been set up on this part of the site, those links that are coloured red have no content, while those in blue have content. Where there is no content, or an organisation or centre is not listed, you are invited to contribute copy. Please read Contributing to find out more.

Organisations and Centres

References

  1. History and Archaeology of Glastonbury Abbey
  2. A Pilgrim in Glastonbury - 2010 – Abbey Press – ISBN 0-9533203-6-7

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