Glastonbury Tor – Glastonbury, England - Atlas Obscura

Glastonbury Tor

This hill and tower are steeped in legend, from King Arthur to the Holy Grail.  


This massive hill has also been referred to as Ynys yr Afalon or the Isle of Avalon from the Arthurian legend. During the 12th and 13th centuries, it was widely believed that the hill was once the island where Excalibur was forged and where King Arthur recovered from the Battle of Camlann. However, this isn’t the only legend associated with the hill.

The hill is also said to be the home of a hidden cave that allows safe passage into the fairy realm of Annwn. Then there’s the story that Jesus’s uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, buried the Holy Grail on the hill. It’s said that Jesus himself also traveled to the Tor di Glastonbury as a young boy. 

Atop of the hill stands a bell tower that once belonged to the church of St Michael. The tower was also the site of a grisly episode during the 16th-century. The last abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, Richard Whiting, was hung, drawn, and quartered at the tower along with two of his monks for their loyalty to Rome.   

Legends and mysteries abound, the site is maintained today by the National Trust and is listed as a scheduled monument. 

Know Before You Go

Wear comfortable shoes and bring some water. Bring an umbrella with you as there is no shelter at the site.

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April 29, 2020

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