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Somerset, England

Chalice Well Garden, Glastonbury, EnglandThe Chalice Well Garden

The Chalice Well Garden is on the eastern side of the town of Glastonbury, in Somerset County, England. Today it is owned and operated by the Chalice Well Trust – founded by Wellesley Tudor Pole in 1959 - and spreads over four acres in a low spot called the Vale of Avalon, snug between Chalice Hill and the foot of Glastonbury Tor. 

Archaeological evidence indicates that the well has been in constant use for probably two thousand years. The Chalice Well is also known as the Red Spring of Avalon – the water has a reddish hue resulting from a high level of iron oxide - and is part of the main pair of springs issuing from this area. The other, the White Spring, is just across Well House Lane outside the walls of the garden. Water issues from the Chalice Well spring at a rate of 25,000 gallons per day and has never failed in recorded history, not even during the driest years. I’ve read that there have been times of drought when this spring was the town’s only source of drinking water. 

For centuries people have come to this spring to “take the waters”. Believed to have healing properties the Healing Pool or Pilgrim’s Bath (it’s called both) sits to this day in the area known as King Arthur’s Court.

Many legends are connected to the spring.

- It is said that a great uncle of Jesus, Joeseph of Arimathea, brought the cup from the last supper and buried it under the scared Tor.

- This cup, or Holy Grail, became part of the Arthurian legends and was the ultimate quest for his most holy knights.

- The water is said to be red because of it's connection to Jesus blood.

- It's said the waters can heal your body, mind, or spirit.

- Carrying the water home with you to add a few drops to your drinking water back home will continue the healing process.

- The energies of the garden can change your life, and set you on new paths and more exciting journeys.

The well is a popular spiritual spot for modern day Pagans and faithful Christians. It is a Grade One Listed Building and became a World Peace Garden in 2001 (World Peace Gardens Net.org).

The spring itself has been around as longer than we can know about, but the well was built 'only' around 800 years ago. Apparently it used to stand some 8-10 feet over ground level, but landslides off the Tor have covered it over. You can see photos of where the wellhead sits now in our Photo Gallery section.

The Chalice Well Trust lists the following rules for visiting the garden:

- no smoking or alcohol
- turn off your cell phones
- keep your clothes on (there must be an interesting story connected to that one)
- have picnics in The Meadow, clean up after yourself
- only guide dogs are allowed
- events or ceremonies can be booked in advance, but are not allowed without prior permission
- some areas of the garden are created especially for quiet mediation and spiritual reflection, respect the rights of others

There is a nice shop on premises, facilities for meetings, and toilets.
Opening times:

April 1st - October 31st:   10:00 am to 5:30 pm

November 1st - March 31st:   10:00 am to 4:00 pm

The entrance fee is around 3 pounds, or 6-7 dollars. You can volunteer to pay a bit extra which allows the Trust to get a much larger tax break of some sort to help support the garden even more!

You can visit the Travel is Awesome Zazzle shop for souvenirs if you missed getting yours while visiting the Garden yourself. If you've not been to the Chalice Well yet I hope our wee creations inspire you to change that soon!

 

   

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