Glastonbury Abbey; Chantry Chapel
Photographer: Sedgfield, W. Russell
Medium: Photographic print
“Glastonbury Abbey, now reduced to a few ruined walls, had the distinguished honour of being the first church founded in Britain…It is the first and most ancient of all churches in England, originally constructed out of twisted withes, but from which the virtue of divine sanctity has already from this beginning breathed its fragrance over the whole country...There has run a legend that Joseph of Arimathea on arriving at Glastonbury struck down his walking-stick, an Asiatic thorn, whilst he prayed, and behold, it shot out boughs, leaves, and flowers, and continued to flourish there as the famous Glastonbury thorn till the destruction of the monastery by Henry VIII…From the time of St. Patrick and of this miracle the fame of Glastonbury grew rapidly. Many kings, queens, princes, and generals desired to be buried there, because the founder, St. Joseph, had buried the Lord. Continually new grants of estates and privileges were made to it by kings and great men and women, till in time it became the most wealthy and magnificent monastery, as well as the most ancient, in the kingdom…”
Excerpt from “Glastonbury Abbey”, in ‘Ruined Abbeys and Castles of Great Britain’ by William and Mary Howitt.