Glastonbury Abbey

[Glastonbury Abbey]
Benedictine monastery in Somersetshire, England, the center of early Christian tradition in England, founded, according to the legendary history of William of Malmesbury, by Saint Joseph of Arimathea in 63, on the Island of Ynyswitrin; he was sent to Britain from Gaul by Saint Philip the Apostle. Saint Patrick, in 433, came and taught the hermits to live together as cenobites. Though all this is legendary it points to a very early British origin. In the 8th century, Ina, King of the West Saxons, founded the church of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul and endowed the monastery. Saint Dunstan of Canterbury restored it after the Danish depredations; his shrine and King Arthur‘s tomb made the abbey the greatest of England‘s pilgrim centres. In 1539 the abbey was sacked and its treasures appropriated by the Crown; the abbot and two monks were martyred. The church was built between 1184 and 1186, to take the place of the original church which had been destroyed in the fire of 1184. The titular designation “Abbot of Glastonbury” is still used among the English Benedictines. Monks of Glastonbury profiled on this site include