Organisations and Centres
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 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.
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 Bond to 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 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 half a century 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 the site, those in red have no content, those in blue have content. Where there is no content you are invited to contribute copy for this site. Please read Contributing to find out more.
- The Glastonbury Trust
- Glaston Centre
- Glaston Centre School of Learning
- Glastonbury Reception Centre and Sanctuary
- The Glastonbury Courtyard
- The Goddess Temple
- The Isle of Avalon Foundation
- The Library of Avalon
- Glastonbury Abbey history and archaeology
- See the article in Wikipedia.
- A Pilgrim in Glastonbury - 2010 – Abbey Press – ISBN 0-9533203-6-7
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