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Mendip Tennis Otherwise known as Somersetshire, the modern county of Somerset covers 1, square miles and has a population ofMendip is one of the most beautiful areas of Britain and includes not only the Mendip Hills, from which it takes its name, but also parts of the Somerset Levels, the caves at Wookey, the smallest city and the largest village in England.
It also contains the supposed site of the mythical Isle of Avalon. It first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudohistorical account Historia Regum Britanniae "The History of the Kings of Britain" as the place where King Arthur's sword Excalibur Caliburnus was forged and later where Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds after the Battle of Camlann.
Avalon was associated from an early date with immortal beings such as Morgan le Fay. AroundAvalon became associated with Glastonbury, when monks at Glastonbury Abbey claimed to have discovered the bones of Arthur and his queen. It is in the work of Gerald of Wales we find this connection made for the first time and it clearly draws on Geoffrey: What is now known as Glastonbury was, in ancient times, called the Isle of Avalon.
It is virtually an island, for it is completely surrounded by marshlands. In Welsh it is called Ynys Afallach, which means the Island of Apples and this fruit once grew in great abundance. After the Battle of Camlann, a noblewoman called Morgan, later the ruler and patroness of these parts as well as being a close blood-relation of King Arthur, carried him off to the island, now known as Glastonbury, so that his wounds could be cared for.
Years ago the district had also been called Ynys Gutrin in Welsh, that is the Island of Glass, and from these words the invading Saxons later coined the place-name 'Glastingebury'. Though no longer an island in the twelfth century, the high conical bulk of Glastonbury Tor had been surrounded by marsh before the surrounding fenland in the Somerset Levels was drained.
As Gerald says Glastonbury's earliest name in Welsh was Ineswitrin or Ynys Witrinthe Isle of glass, a name noted by earlier historians which shows that the location was at one point seen as an island.
The discovery of the burial is described by chroniclers, notably Gerald of Wales, as being just after King Henry II's reign when the new abbot of Glastonbury, Henry de Sully, commissioned a search of the abbey grounds.
At a depth of 5 m 16 feet the monks discovered a massive treetrunk coffin and a leaden cross bearing the inscription: Hic jacet sepultus inclitus rex Arthurus in insula Avalonia.
Accounts of the exact inscription vary, with five different versions existing. The earliest is by Gerald in "Liber de Principis instructione" c.
Inside the coffin were two bodies, who Giraldus refers to as Arthur and "his queen"; the bones of the male body were described as being gigantic. The account of the burial by the chronicle of Margam Abbey says three bodies were found, the other being of Mordred. Inthe remains were reburied with great ceremony, attended by King Edward I and his queen, before the High Altar at Glastonbury Abbey, where they were the focus of pilgrimages until the Reformation.
The Glastonbury burial is tainted with the suggestion of forgery as an example of Pseudoarchaeology. Historians today generally dismiss the authenticity of the find, attributing it to a publicity stunt performed to raise funds to repair the Abbey, which was mostly burned in It is known for certain the monks later added forged passages to William's history discussing Arthurian connections.
The fact that the search for the body is connected to Henry II and Edward I, both kings who fought major Welsh wars, has had scholars suggest that propaganda may have played a part as well. In their stupidity the British [i. Welsh, Cornish and Bretons] people maintain that he is still alive. Now that the truth is known, I have taken the trouble to add a few more details in this present chapter.AccessPress Lite is a HTML5 & CSS3 Responsive WordPress Business Theme with clean, minimal yet highly professional design.
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