Sunday, 10 November 2013

A Brief Holiday – Day 3 – Glastonbury

We spent most of the day of 17th October in Glastonbury.

There are legends that in pre-recorded history The Isle of Avalon was a sacred burial ground. Legend also tells us of the arrival of Joseph of Arimathea after the crucifixion of Jesus in historical times the great Benedictine Abbey of Glaston dominated the town.  In prehistoric times Glastonbury Tor and some of the surrounding land was an island joined to the mainland by a narrow peninsula. The island was surrounded by tidal marshes which gave good natural protection. In Neolithic times there were people living in Lake Villages near the island but there seem to have been few if any resident inhabitants. The island appears to have been treated as a sacred place from the earliest days. In the middle ages Glastonbury emerged as a great centre of pilgrimage.   There is a great site giving a timeline of Glastonbury’s history here.   In 1539 Henry VIII’s men wrecked the abbey as Henry dissolved the monasteries and claimed their wealth.  I’ll show some photos of the abbey on another occasion.  As so the present day - in the 1970s Glastonbury became a major centre for the New Age movement in the UK, a place it retains.

Near our car park is St John’s Church, a fairly typical Somerset church.  These large churches were built as a result of the money generated by the wool industry. 

In the grounds there is this maze.

It’s good to see that both new and second-hand book shops can still be found in Glastonbury.

Even the florist is ‘enchanted’ in this magical town.

Whoever did the artwork for the van got the detail perfect in this Small Tortoiseshell.

And there is plenty of artwork on the walls, as in this alleyway by the Blue Note café where we had our first coffee of the day.  The Blue Note is a vegetarian café and we made it our favourite on our last visit to the town.

And in streets a bit off the beaten track.

Barber’s poles are one of the few signs that remain from the days when tradesmen labelled heir shops with visual representations of their craft, not words.  Pubs and pawnbrokers are among the few remaining trades to do the same. 

The George and Pilgrim Inn dates back to the 1400s and is the oldest purpose-built pub in the South West of England, located right in the heart of Glastonbury. The hotel maintains many of its original features such as the panelled stone frontage, mullion windows and old oak beams.

More inn signs.

The Crystal Man occupied a bit of our time and some of our money but most of the crystals were a bit expensive. 

Another coffee was then called for –

One thing that can be said for Glastonbury is that it is full of characters.  I love the fact that people can be themselves here and do their own thing.


Yes, she really is skipping along!

 Little and Large.
 Am I boring you?


I would prefer it if buskers didn’t feel the need to be backed by loud boom-box type music.

These two managed quite well without it.



Sorry about the format and angle but I was taken by surprise - those are not the clothes Partner-who-loves-tea went into the shop wearing!

Till next time - keep smiling...


  1. What a great post! Love PWLT's new fuscia clothes. A great colour! xoxox

  2. Wow, this is a great post, I like the subjects of your photos from churches to book stores and pub and inn signs. The photos of people are compelling too, especially the black and white ones.

  3. You have a great photographic essay here. People being themselves and doing their own thing. It's a great collection of photos. I've never been to Glastonbury and now I feel I know it much better. But those photos have such a story to tell. I love it.

  4. John, this has to be one of the best posts I've seen. The people are interesting amusing and beautifully portrayed.

  5. Love the character studies! And how kind of all these people to have given you permission to use their pictures on your blog.
    What puzzles me is the difference in clothing. I don't mean style, but warmth. Some are walking about sleeveless, while others are in heavy woolly jumpers or coats. It looks sunny, so I tend to think the sleeveless people were making the most of what they thought could have been one of the last few warm days before the onset of winter.

  6. That is one of the best sets of character photos I can ever recall seeing in a blog post CJ. Wonderful.

  7. Gahh... so many lovely pics, it's hard to start commenting! The blonde with the boots on sort of looks like she might be Clemence Poesy...

  8. Glastonbury is one of my favorite places, thanks for all the great photos.

  9. It looks like a place i would enjoy living. Thank you for the tour!

  10. John,
    What a brilliant set of street photos. I'm quite envious of the photographer who caught them!
    Take care, McGregor

  11. Wow, CJ, what a lovely assortment of photos documenting your enchanting trip to Glastonbury.
    The artwork on the streets off the beaten path and the myriad of characters that you encountered all made it well-worth the trip.
    Loved "The Who'd a Thought It" inn, and the maze,and the buskers (new word for me) and to top it all off Jo smiling in a new outfit....who could possibly ask for more?

  12. What a great series of "people photos" - well done! And I too love that Who'd a Thought It sign :)

  13. wow, wow, wow! it's surreal about the age of the one pub! I would love to visit this place. a glorious assortment of people shots! if I had taken this gems, I would definitely make a small scrapbook of them.


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