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In the United Kingdom!


Climbing Glastonbury Tor

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Somerset, England

Glastonbury Town HallGlastonbury The Town

(See photos taken around town in our Photo Gallery section)

Without moving too far back into early history, suffice to say this area was once under water. People living in this area date back about 4000 years and around 200 BCE early Stone Age farmers built lake villages near the edge of the Tor. Their houses were built on stilts over the marshy ground beneath them. Through Roman and Saxon incursions and over time one of those villages became Glastonbury. The origin of the name is not certain, but one theory is that it's a corruption of the words Glastan Inga Burh. Glastan meaning the place with the oak trees, Inga meaning belonging to the people, and Burh meaning a fort. The other is that it was the Burh (fort) belonging to the Glaestings (Saxon).

Very early on the area was associated with spiritual and mystical experiences. Historical traditions speak of Druids and schools in the area; its known for sure there was a Celtic monastery there by 500 AD, and over time Glastonbury Abbey was built on the spot and became one of the most influential and wealthy abbey's in the country until it's destruction in 1539. Tradition claims Joseph of Arimathea and St Patrick both visited Glastonbury and left their own marks on place and history there.

The town grew with the Abbey, with the town better surviving the ravages of religious battles than the Abbey. Today it is a major draw for tourists the world over and may be the most well known town of it's size in the world. The population is around 8000.

Glastonbury is a market town, with The Glastonbury Country Market held every Tuesday. It has about 40 stalls at the time of writing this article and is held inside the Town Hall building. You'll find fresh local produce, baked goods, plants, flowers, eggs, cheese, butter, honey, preserves, art work (carvings, jewelry, photography, sewing, etc), souvenirs, and a refreshment area. Entry is free and they have 'Tasting Days'. There have been various ups and downs in the success of the market, but for the most part there is wide spread support for it's continuing and expanding into different areas. There is a view that the 'alternative' image of Glastonbury is good for business in today's health/environment aware society and that a farmer's market works well in that regard. There is also the Somerset Farmers Market held in Glastonbury the 4th Saturday of each month.

Glastonbury has numerous bed and breakfast establishments, inns, pubs, and restaurants, including many with extensive vegetarian fare. Oh, and fish and chips! Great fish and chips. Glastonbury is an official Fair Trade Town, they recycle, and have thriving theater groups.

There is a Town Cryer who can announce your special event throughout the town. :D Gotta love that!


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