The Glastonbury Tor

11 August 2014

The town of Glastonbury is an enchanted place steeped in mysterious legends and stories of magic, a spiritual Mecca for many. It also plays host to the Glastonbury Festival, one of the most prolific and extravagant music festivals in the world. It is located in Somerset, in the South Western part of England, also informally known as the West Country. It has an extremely vibrant and cosmopolitan community and draws travellers from all across the globe.

The Glastonbury Tor Glastonbury Tor is a hill at Glastonbury in the English county of Somerset, topped by the roofless St Michael's Tower, a Grade I listed building. Image copyright Wiehahn Diederichs

There is one monument, perched atop a tall green hill, which proudly gazes over the farthest reaches of this area. This is St. Michael’s tower on the Glastonbury Tor, a mystifying sight synonymous with its town. The Tor is place of great importance for people from many different cultures and religions. Some see it as a prominent spiritual destination while others await the arrival of extra-terrestrial beings.

Even in the earliest accounts of its history, this part of Glastonbury was considered a sacred place. Excavations by Philip Rahtz and his team in the 1960’s found evidence of people residing in this area as early as the 5th century. The most notable theme identified across all the myths and legends is that the Tor is a place where the “veil” between the material world and spiritual realm is very thin, making it a significant place of other worldly experiences.

Whatever the true story is behind the great Glastonbury Tor, it is definitely a sight worth visiting. From atop the hill you can see brilliant views of the surrounding countryside and there are many travellers to meet, most with very interesting stories concerning the Tor.

Here’s a brief list of some of these myths and legends:

  • Place where the veil between material world and spiritual realm is extremely thin
  • Sightings of many unexplained phenomena such as UFO’s, aliens and ghosts
  • The place where Excalibur, the sword of Arthurian legend was forged
  • Where King Arthur came to rest and recover from his wounds after his final battle, The Battle of Camlann. He is also said to be buried here
  • Beneath the Tor there is a subterranean kingdom ruled by Gwyn ap Nudd, known as the “King of The Faeries” and the “Lord of the Wild Hunt”.

Wiehahn Diederichs

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” Travel has opened my mind and soul and has filled me with an insatiable thirst and curiosity for life. My passion for travel is fuelled by my love for photography and writing. Through these mediums of expression I hope to inspire people to follow their hearts and see the world. There is an entire planet filled with a variety of people and experiences waiting for us to meet them.