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The Chalice Well
Glastonbury, Somerset

[Saturday - 05/08/99] We started out this morning to climb Glastonbury Tor which begins by walking up Chalice Hill. It is the third and gentlest of the three hills which form the heart of Glastonbury's mythic landscape. Standing between the town and the Tor, it effectively hides the bulk of the taller hill from the town. It has long been considered the most sacred of the hills and is believed by some to have been the final resting place for the Holy Grail.

A natural spring, rich in iron, which turns the water red, rises here which resulted in its once being called the Blood Spring. In modern times, it has been associated with the Blood of Christ caught in the Grail. A local trust has caused a beautiful and peaceful garden to grow up around the Well over the past decade. Within the garden, which is surrounded by medieval stonework and rises up the lower slopes of the hill, there are a number of sheltered spots where visitors may stop, sit, and reflect on the myth of Arthur and the Grail. Oddly enough, we all seemed to find ourselves enraptured by the place and found ourselves wandering alone to find our own moments while there.

The Well head is covered by an elaborate lid with a wrought-iron sculpture donated by Frederic Bligh-Bond in 1919 called the Vesica Pisces, a symbol inspired by the geometry of the well fountain's lowest basin. As an interesting aside, Bligh-Bond was the resident archaeologist at Glastonbury Abbey for several years and responsible for many remarkable findings while excavating the Abbey ruins. He was ridiculed into leaving that post when it was learned that he was using a psychic to trace the foundations of the ancient church.

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Last modified on Wednesday, November 28, 2008
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