Glastonbury was initially inhabited by stone age farmers. In 1892 the iron-age village near Glastonbury, now known as Glastonbury Lake Village, was discovered by a young medical student called Arthur Bulleid. The village was first constructed in approximately 250 B.C. by creating a base of timber and clay on which roundhouses were build. The village was abandoned about 50 B.C. possibly due to rising water levels.
Glastonbury is thought to have started as a small settlement which grew into a town after the Abbey was founded in the 7th century by the Saxons. The original stone church was enlarged in the 10th century by St. Dunstan who became the Abbot of Glastonbury and then the Archbishop of Canterbury in 960.
After the invasion and conquest of England by the Normans in 1066, the church was bettered by the addition of magnificent buildings. In 1086, when the Domesday Book was commission to provide records and a census of life in England, Glastonbury Abbey was the richest monastery in the country.
In 1184, the Abbey was destroyed by fire and reconstruction commenced almost immediately with the Lady Chapel, including the well, being consecrated in 1186. There is a school of thought that believes that in order to raise extra funds from pilgrims to rebuild the Abbey, the monks dug for the remains of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere and the bones from two bodies were raised from a deep grave in the cemetery on the south side of the Lady Chapel. The find is not considered to be authentic.
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