Today we had a quite day walking around the village of Glastonbury, looking through the many many shops of new age books, faery items, unusual clothing, crystals and esoteric ornaments I think I am in heaven.
Although a charter was granted to the town in 1705, following a petition citing the lack of local justice which stated "whereof the morals of the inhabitants are corrupt, and cavil and breach of the peace are frequent", it was not until 1813 when an order was placed with a Mr.Beard of Somerton to draw up plans for a Town Hall. The early Corporation, composed of capital and inferior burgesses, held meetings in the market house which, because of its poor condition made change inevitable. After years of discussion a Mr.Down offered a piece of ground next to the gateway beside the Red Lion one which to build a new market hall on the ground floor and a Town Hall above. The Council Chamber remains there today, above a small meeting room which is part of the whole complex. The first meeting of the Council in the new Town Hall took place in December 1814, but "later adjourned to the White Hart to consider how to find £100", presumably for further costs. The debt was still not repaid in 1865. Today the building houses the office of the Town Clerk, a large hall with three fine chandeliers widely used for receptions, dances, musical entertainments and meetings. This week it is the head quarters of the Goddess Conference.
Of the original St John’s Church on this site little is known. However, recent excavations in the chancel, together with others in the nineteenth century in the nave, revealed early foundations. The excavations indicate a large central tower that possibly dated from Dunstan’s abbacy, c. 950, and a later Norman nave arcade on the same plan as the existing one. A central tower survived until the fifteenth century. The Church of the blessed Saint John the Baptist of Northbinne, as it is called in the early charters, was one of the seven local churches over which, from Saxon times, the Abbey of Glastonbury had claimed complete ecclesiastical jurisdiction. This led to disputes with the Bishop of Wells, and in 1170 these churches became a special Archdeaconry with the Abbot as Archdeacon. About this time, when a Master Alvred was the incumbent, there were attempts by the Abbey to appropriate the revenues of the church. This finally happened on the resignation of Ralph the Chaplain in 1203 and the Sacrist of the Abbey was then to appoint the future vicars and to pay them a stipend. This was confirmed in 1225 by Pope Honorius III, when it was stated that the revenues were appropriated to help the Abbey’s building fund. (The Abbey had been burnt down in 1184). The parishioners also had to pay rent of 6s. 9d. to the Abbey. At the dissolution of the Abbey in 1539, the church passed to the Crown, and the rent was raised to £1 2s. 2d. In 1649 it passed to the Bishop of Bath and Wells, who is the patron of the living. St. Benedict's Church, Glastonbury, and West Pennard Church were originally chapels of the mother church of St. John's. They always had their own churchwardens, and eventually became separate parishes, but were served by the same incumbent, except between 1846 and 1980. In medieval times the churchwardens were a corporate body owning considerable property in the town. We are fortunate that the number of their account rolls from the year 1366 onwards have been preserved, although with many gaps and doubts about the dates of some of them.
|The courtyard of the Glastonbury Experience|
|The Glastonbury Experience Entrance from High Street - Imagination, Transformation & Inspiration|
|I just love the shops and the names they give them this is the Cat & The Cauldron|
|War Memorial a Saxon cross discovered when excavations of the St John's church took place in 1908|
|The Sacred Glastonbury Thorn Tree in the church grounds - unfortunately the one on Wearyall |Hill has been vandalised however this tree is from the same original cuttings at that one|
|St John's Church|