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George and Pilgrim, Somerset

George and Pilgrim - third from left

The George and Pilgrim was founded in 1470 in the reign of Edward IV by Abbot Selwood as a hospice linked to the Glastonbury Abbey, providing accommodation to pilgrims. There had long been a Glastonbury legend of a secret tunnel linking the inn to the abbey, and this has been partially verified by recent exploration. The George and Pilgrim is in Glastonbury High Street, Somerset.

The inn was a place of rest for pilgrims searching for whatever it is that pilgrims of all kinds search for. Glastonbury is the centre of many myths and legends concerning the Holy Grail. The Holy Grail was a cup or plate used by Christ during the last supper, supposedly possessed of magical power. Joseph of Arimethea, who the Bible describes as giving up his own grave for Christ, was said to have brought the Grail to Britain, and to have planted the Glastonbury Thorn. There are also tales of King Arthur who did much famous searching for the Grail. These legends show a complicated mix of Christian and pagan symbolism, from trees, long an object of worship, to the cups once offered to gods. There seems plenty here to keep all sorts of travellers and pilgrims happy. Fittingly Glastonbury is the setting for an annual festival in which thousands of people give thanks to the latest bands.

 

Address: 1 High Street, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 9DP

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©2006 InfoBritain (updated 11/10)