The abbey was founded in the 7th century and enlarged on the 10th. It was destroyed by a great fire in 1184, but later rebuilt and in the 14th century it was one of the richest and most powerful monasteries in England. The abbey controlled large tracts of the surrounding lands and was instrumental in major drainage projects in the Somerset levels. The abbey was suppressed during the dissolution of the monasteries under King Henry VIII of England. The last abbot, Richard Whiting, was hanged, dragged and quartered as a traitor at Glastonbury Tor in 1539. Christian legends claim that the abbey was founded by Joseph of Arimathea in the 1st century.
WHY THIS PLACE
From at least the 12th century the Glastonbury area has been associated with the legend of King Arthur, a connection promoted by medieval monks who asserted that Glastonbury was Avalon. Christian legends have claimed that the abbey was founded by Joseph of Arimathea in the 1st century.
Suggestions that Glastonbury may have been a site of religious importance in Celtic or pre-Celtic times are considered dubious, but archaeological investigations by the University of Reading have demonstrated Roman and Saxon occupation of the site.