Tuesday, 13 August 2013


Today we drove to Torquay after having a look at the Glastonbury Abbey set in 37 acres of beautifully peaceful parkland in the centre of the ancient market town of Glastonbury. It is traditionally the first Christian sanctuary in Great Britain, visited, so legend has it, by Joseph of Arimathea and Saints David & Patrick. Many believe that the Holy Thorn tree that can be seen in the grounds originated from Joseph of Arimathea's staff and others are convinced that King Arthur was buried in the Abbey beside his lovely wife Queen Guinevere. Whatever one believes the facts are that the ruins are unique, the grounds provide a spot of peace and tranquillity in an otherwise hectic world.

Thorn Tree in the Abbey Grounds

Site of the ancient graveyard where in 1191 the monks dug to find the tombs of Arthur & Guinevere

View of the Tor from the Abbey Grounds

Site of King Arthur's tomb in the year 1191 the bodies of King Arthur and his Queen were said to have been found on the south side of the Lady Chapel. On 19th Apri 1278 their remains were removed in the presence of King Edward I & Queen Eleanor to a black marble tomb on this site. This tomb survived until the dissolution of the Abbey in 1539.

Lady Chapel

Lady Chapel entrance arch

After seeing the Abbey we drove to see the Maiden Castle the impressive Iron Age hillfort of Maiden Castle was not the first monument on the hilltop, excavations have discovered a complex sequence of occupation, beginning over 6,000 years ago. Among the largest and most complex of Iron Age hillforts in Europe, Maiden Castle’s huge multiple ramparts once protected several hundred residents. Excavations in the 1930s and 1980s revealed the site's 4,000-year history, from a Neolithic causewayed enclosure to a small Roman temple built on the site in the 4th century AD. They also produced evidence of an extensive late Iron Age cemetery, where many of the burials had suffered horrific injuries in attacks or skirmishes.

Whilst in Dorchester we visited The Roman Town House at Colliton Park, in the grounds of County Hall. Dorchester was once a thriving Roman settlement and excavations have uncovered the foundations of a 1st-century Roman villa behind the town hall on Northern Hay. The layout of the house is clearly visible and the remains of the main building, enclosed in a glass structure, boast remarkable mosaic floors. The earliest part of the Town House dates from the first part of fourth century. The building was expanded and adorned with fine mosaics around AD350. It was probably home to a local Romano-British family whose ancestors had adopted the Roman way of life some 300 years earlier. They may also have owned a farm or villa nearby, and were most likely involved in the governing council of Durnovaria (Dorchester).

Roman Villa

On our way to Torquay we drove through Lyme Regis.

We then stopped and walked along the ocean front of Seaton village a rocky beach with lovely white cliffs.

Kevin coming back from his wade through the ocean

On arriving in Torquay we walked around the seafront for dinner, it is a really happening town with a carnival to celebrate the summer season.

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