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"GLASTONBURY, a parish, town and corporate borough, exercising separate jurisdiction, but locally in the hundred of Glaston-Twelve-Hides, county Somerset, 9 miles S.W. of Shepton Mallet, 14 N.E. of Bridgwater, and 126 from London by road, or 158 by rail. The Somerset and Dorset line has a station here. This ancient town is situated in a low peninsular marsh, formed by the river Brue, and stands on the high road from Exeter to Wells, having as its suburbs the places known as Havyatt, Week or Wick, Norwood Park, and Edgarley, at which last place was the palace of King Edgar. By the Britons it was named Inis-Witrin, or Yniswytrin, which was translated by the Saxons into Glasstinyabyrig, or Glastonbury; and also Avalonia, from the British word avalla, signifying "apples." It entirely derived its origin and celebrity from its religious establishments, which were, it is generally asserted, almost coeval with Christianity itself. Camden, following the monkish chroniclers, assigns its origin to Joseph of Arimathea, who is said to have originally constructed its famous abbey of wattles, which was subsequently replaced by a more permanent structure, built by Devi, Bishop of St. David's. St. Patrick is also said to have resided here, and to have built the monastery of St. Michael, on Tor Hill, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1275, the only remains of which is the tower at present standing." From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2003

Description and Travel

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Historical Geography

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