Arthurian Legend

I’m not sure what a legend is other than a way of squeezing lots of money out of unsuspecting tourists.

I recently visited Glastonbury Abbey.  The monks that ran this place perfected the art of squeezing every available coin out of its clientele by fabricating stories about King Arthur.

 

The abbey is basically a massive ruin set in a very large open space that should be a public park right in the centre of Glastonbury.  Image

As with most places like this, professional photography is not permitted so to avoid any arguments I travelled very light just taking my Fuji X100s with its wide angle adapter attached.  This turned out to be the perfect tool to capture some of the majesty of the place.

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Places in the South West associated with King Arthur include Cadbury Castle, Tintagel, Chard and Glastonbury.  It would appear that this guy got around or that he ran an ancient money making franchise renting out his fame to any historical tourist attraction.

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He was apparently buried in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey then dug up and moved inside the abbey so that pilgrims had a focal point to visit.  Then during Henry the Eight’s reign the remains were dug up and moved again.

Glastonbury is a great place for casual people watching.  I often walk around the town in my clothes from M&S and feel very weird and out of place almost tempted to rush into a wizard shop and purchase some hemp clothing and a cape, throwing away my Clarks comfy walkers in favour of some open toed sandals.  So far I have resisted.

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Sometimes the tourists can’t resist and spend their money on crystals, wands or funny hats.  Each to their own and may the tourist money keep on flowing in to the area not just in the summer months either.

There is a thorn in Glastonbury said to have been planted by Joseph and each year a cutting is taken and sent to the Queen for her Christmas dining table.  A cynical and slightly twisted part of me wonders what she makes of this gnarled old twig that turns up every year.  Does it even get to to her line of vision or does it become a rather elaborate piece of kindling.

 

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I will spend parts of this year seeing what other mythical tourist attractions I can dig up.  I may revisit Corfe Castle and learn some more of its history.  It is by far the most impressive castle ruin in the country.  I wonder if King Arthur ever popped in for a cream tea.

 

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