These photographs were taken on 27th-28th August, 2013 and represent two days of a camping break. They are displayed in chronological sequence with both days in the sequence beginning at Market Cross in the town and ending at Bridge Farm (campsite) in West Bradley. The first day was spent visiting the Abbey and surrounding grounds. The 2nd day involved a walk via Chilkwell Street to Chalice Well, then via Wellhouse Lane to the Tor and finally ending at the remnants of the two great “Oaks of Avalon” – ‘Gog’ and ‘Magog’. The latter are remnants of an avenue of oaks felled in 1906 and from which more than 2000 growth rings were counted. The original avenue is thought to have been a processional route to the Tor. Gog and Magog, at the beginning of the avenue, are also said to have been a traditional entry point to Glastonbury when it was an island. The two trees form an alignment with other aspects of the landscape including the Tor, Chalice Hill, the Abbey and Wearyall Hill. This two-day tour could be considered as encompassing the main ‘spiritual’ sites associated with Glastonbury.
These photographs evoke memories of my camping trips to Glastonbury in the past. When I first visited Gog and Magog with friends in 1971, both trees, despite their obvious age, had green foliage although one was clearly in poor health with only a few, shorter branches displaying leaves. As seen in these photos, Gog has now died and turned white. I also recall that during the 1971 trip, we had been able to get down into the ditch (or leat) in Wellhouse Lane and by stooping, take a shower in the overflow from Chalice Well as it poured from a pipe projecting from the stone wall. As can be seen in these photos, the leat has since been covered and such bathing would not now be possible. The photos from the Tor summit also include Ashwell Farm, between the Tor and reservoir, where I camped with my children on more than one occasion in the 1980s.
A selection of these photos can also be viewed as an animated slideshow set to music (“Kupuri” by System 7) here or by using the buttons below. A few additional photos along with the original set can be seen at my Flickr album here or using the buttons below.
1. Glastonbury Abbey at Wikipedia
2. Glastonbury Abbey website
3. Chalice Well at Wikipedia
4. Chalice Well website
5. Glastonbury Tor at Wikipedia
6. Glastonbury Tor at National Trust site
6. Gog and magog at Glastonbury information
6. Gog and magog at Solitary Morrigan’s blog
5. Bridge Farm (campsite) website
All photographs are © Warwick Conway with all rights reserved.
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