Glastonbury Abbey is believed to have been founded in the 7th century and as such could well be one of the country’s oldest Christian sites. Add in the fact that it is believed to be the final resting place of King Arthur and Guinevere and Glastonbury Abbey has some long established folklore and history to its name.

A visit to the abbey gives you the opportunity to freely roam the grounds taking in the peaceful ponds and orchard whilst admiring the architectural remains and is a great spot for a family picnic (although it’s also worth remembering that the onsite café serves Abbey Cider)! Inside, the museum displays various finds from on-site archaeological digs including examples of Saxon glass production, Romanesque and Early English sculpture and excavated finds linking back to our monastic culture. Just recently the abbey has been awarded a grant of £249,990 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and as a result will be marching on ahead with its ‘Piazza Project’. By offering an improved visitor welcome, the renovation works will include the development of a landscaped welcome for visitors along with a piazza area to enjoy a coffee whilst enjoying one of the many community events which will be featuring on the abbey’s already well-stocked events calendar.

Great British Life: Glastonbury Abbey. Photo: Glastonbury AbbeyGlastonbury Abbey. Photo: Glastonbury Abbey

Set in 36 acres, the abbey is an independent charity which has to date relied almost entirely on visitor income. This recent grant will enhance the venue making the visitor experience more accessible for events such as open days, concerts, workshops and the highly anticipated Medieval Fayre. Stuart McLeod, Director of England, London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said, ‘Investing in heritage means investing in the community it belongs to, which is why we are proud to support the Glastonbury Abbey Piazza project as part of the Town Deal. This will not only create an accessible space that can be enjoyed by locals and visitors from further afield, but will also play a significant role in boosting the local economy and aiding the wider regeneration of Glastonbury.’

Janet Bell MBE is the Glastonbury Abbey Director and project lead and she said, ‘To receive the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund for our ‘Piazza Project’ is very exciting. Our thanks go to the Heritage Fund and the many National Lottery players who make this award possible. With this contribution we are confident the project will offer a visitor welcome and community space at the abbey befitting an attraction of international standing.’ Glastonbury Abbey is open seven days a week between 10 am and 6pm.