Go to 'Forthcoming Events' to see the programme for the 2016/2017 season


21st October 2016, 7.30pm meeting at
Glastonbury Archers Way Library

Paul Ashdown will speak on:

The Siege of Badon Hill - 1,500th Anniversary?

This year of 2016 marks the fifteen-hundredth anniversary of the only date ancient annals provide for the siege of Badon Hill, one of the most celebrated engagements of the British Dark Ages. The actual date is as controversial as most other aspects of the battle. Fought between post-Roman British forces and Germanic invaders, it is agreed to have occurred at some point in the late fifth or early sixth centuries, conventionally expressed as 'circa 500'. The two figures most closely associated with it, the British writer Gildas, who first recorded it, and Arthur, later accounted the victor, both have firm legendary ties to Glastonbury. The battle itself, moreover, has intriguing implications for the early history of the West Saxon kingdom, of which Glastonbury became a significant institution.



18 November 2016, 7.30pm

GAS AGM at the Archers Way Library after which

Dr Tim Hopkinson-Ball will speak on:

The Lost Cathedral of Bath, with reference to Glastonbury Abbey

Bath Abbey – more accurately the parish church and former cathedral church of St Saviour, St Peter and St Paul – is frequently cited in architectural works and histories of the city, but pilgrimage to Bath and the cult of saints at the medieval cathedral priory has been almost completely ignored.

While understandable – the great Romanesque cathedral church has all but vanished and its Tudor successor was barely complete at the Reformation – it is unfortunate, as the rest of the medieval diocese, which of course includes Glastonbury Abbey and Wells Cathedral, has been treated in some detail. 

In this talk, the history of Bath’s lost Benedictine cathedral priory will be traced from 1090 until the dissolution of the monastery in January 1539. The Romanesque great church will be described, the story of the city’s ‘lost’ saint will be addressed and Bath’s connections with Glastonbury Abbey explored.



Monitoring the Glastonbury Lake Village groundwater levels

Phil Brewin has just received some initial data from our new groundwater level monitoring stations in the Glastonbury Lake Village (peat soil). Here is a link to the installation at the Lake Village:


These charts show the first month of data (October 2015), collected at 15min intervals using a pressure sensor and data logger. There is a bit more work to do to relate the ground water level to a known datum, and also add ditch water level data and rainfall data to the analysis, to allow us to compare groundwater levels with local ditch water levels and assess responsiveness to rainfall.

These initial data are reassuring as they confirm the loggers are working, and clearly show some important characteristic and differences between the clay and peat soils. For example, the peat soil groundwater is higher than the clay and much more responsive to rainfall. This is not unexpected, but it is still helpful to have the data to improve our understanding of groundwater levels in Somerset. The Lake Village data will be particularly useful in allowing us to assess the below ground water environment and the risk to the archaeology, which must be kept wet, during hot dry summers. Here's hoping we have a good summer next year for the sake of furthering our knowledge of groundwater hydrology in Somerset.



Paul Ashdown's talk A Certain Royal Island (Glastonbury, Abbey and Throne before the Normans) is now reproduced on a separate page (see list at left)


To see the 10 Glastonbury Drawings by Sheppard Dale

go to Artists, Witnesses & Plans and open

the page 1864 Sheppard Dale 


Also extra on 1610 William Camden, 1825/6 Skinner & 1545 Leland for his description of Glastonbury


New Pages:

The Municipal History of Glastonbury

by the Rev. Preb. Grant R.D. (1904)


The Streets, Highways & Byways of Gastonbury in 1904

by J G L Bullied, the Society's founder


Street, William Strode & the Civil War

by W S Clark, 1904 Presidential Adress


When Was Glastonbury Abbey Founded?

latest thoughts by Stephen Morland when aged 90


XII Hides Terrier and Perambulations

by H Scott Stokes



Go to: LINKS / Society of Antiquries

 for talks given at the 2013 Glastonbury Symposium





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