The ruins of Glastonbury Tor
|Location||Above Forest Perilous|
|Inhabitants||Mad Monk, Old Ones|
The hill has been revered for countless centuries. To the Celts, it was Ynys-Witran, the Island of Glass, so-called because the lands around it were often flooded. It is also said that Joseph of Arimathea, who supervised the burial of Jesus, brought the Grail here and that where he stuck his staff into the ground, a Thorn Tree tree grew. Many religious orders have since come and gone left their ruins behind. To reach the tor, one must travel through the Forest Perilous.
Ancient people who probably worshipped the Old Ones, had built castles and walls but by the time of Arthur Pendragon all left were ruins, occupied by a strange hermit, the Mad Monk. Arthur was trapped there by a circular spell after passing the riddles of the five poets. To break the spell, he offered silver to the Old Ones and with the key they gave him, he opened the Chalice Well.
Behind the scenes
See Glastonbury Tor
In the game the Tor is occupied by ruins, described as 'religious ruins', and carved with Latin Memento mori (suggesting a Christian heritage), but the alter is perhaps more ancient, it has since been taken over by a trinity of 'false gods'. However, Glastonbury Tor in the game is a composite of several locations in Glastonbury associated with the Grail Legend.
Glastonbury Tor is believed to have originally been the site of an Iron Age hill fortification. Over the centuries has included other buildings usually wooden structures including a religious hermitage, and later monastery.
Since at least the 12th century the Glastonbury area was frequently associated with the legend of King Arthur, a connection promoted by medieval monks who asserted that Glastonbury was Avalon.
In reality the hill is occupied by the St. Michael's Tower which dates to the 14th century. It is the last remains of the St. Michaels Monastery
The architecture and rough layout of ruins themselves resemble the Glastonbury Abbey which lies below the Tor within the town of Glastonbury. These ruins have developed their own legends and significance within the Arthurian myth.
There have been two abbeys on the site, the first was founded 7th century and enlarged in the 10th, but was destroyed in a major fire in 1184. It was rebuilt and by the 14th century was one of the richest and most powerful monasteries in England, it was the second largest Cathedral in England (after the Old St Paul's Cathedral in London, destroyed in 1666). The later ruins were created when Henry VIII stripped the church of its riches after forming his own Protestant religion. During rumored excavation of the site in 1194 two bodies were discovered near the Abbey starting the tradition that it was the burial site of Arthur and Guinivere (though the story maybe a hoax). The spot marked as the grave of King Arthur and Gwenhyver still exists.
The Chalice Well itself lies at the foot of the hill in a Victorian garden, and is tied to many legends including mother Goddess and Christ.