Glastonbury Tor, text not used:

The word ‘Tor’ itself is 2500 years old – one of the half-dozen or so oldest words in the English language. In the Iron Age (700 BC to AD 43), Glastonbury Tor was regarded as the entrance to the land of the dead, and the legendary palace of King Gwyn-ap-Nudd stood on its summit. The Zodiac was laid out in about 2700 BC.

King Coel (‘Old King Cole’) was buried at Glastonbury in the third century. In the fifth century St Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, became the Abbot of Grastonbury and was buried there. In AD 540 St David, the Patron Saint of Wales, came to Glastonbury. In the Dark Ages, St Bride, or Bridget, lived on the Isle of Beckery.

In 879 King Alfred fortified Burrow Mump, which is also known as King Alfred’s Castle. A mile away, at Athelney, one of the least important and best known events in history took place when Alfred burnt the cakes. King Edgar and St Dunstan were both buried at Glastonbury. King Edmund Ironside was buried in Glastonbury Abbey in 1016, and King Caractacus is also said to be buried at Glastonbury.

In about 1360 St Michael’s Chapel was built on the Tor to replace an earlier one destroyed by an earthquake on September 11th, 1275. From 1127 until 1825 a fair was held on the Tor every year at Michaelmas. In 1967 excavations by Philip Rahtz revealed the remains of a settlement on the Tor dating from the period AD 470 to AD 650, the time of King Arthur.

Steep Holme has been designated a nature reserve as a memorial to the naturalist Kenneth Allsop.

In the west the Vale of Avalon stretches dead-level for fourteen miles to the Bristol Channel. At one time it was covered in reeds, rushes and sedges, interspersed with lakes and creeks, and was the haunt of cranes and pellicans. Now it has been reclaimed by the digging of a series of drains called rhynes, and is dotted with willow trees, which are used for making baskets and hurdles. Peat is also cut, mainly for horticulture. Peat cuttings appear in the view as areas of brown and green stripes, especially behind Fyson’s. [In 2010 cranes were reintroduced to the levels.]

Avalon means ‘Land of Apples’, and cider apples are still grown in the area. The main industry in Street is shoe-making, and Cheddar is noted for its cheese. Millfield School at Street is the most expensive in the country.

The River Brue, the Glastonbury Canal, the Huntspill River, the Whitelake River and the avenue approaching the Hood Monument are all aligned with the Tor, and the alignments are clearly visible in the view. St Benedict’s Church is aligned with the axis of Glastonbury Abbey.

The Dragon Path is aligned with the May Day sunrise. Many people believe that the alignment was a factor in determining the position of Avebury when it was built in 1800 BC.

The Benedictine Abbey of Glastonbury was the richest abbey in England apart from Westminster. Its last Abbot, Richard Whiting, was executed on the Tor in 1539.

Alfred’s Tower is on the Stourhead Estate. The top of the tower is 1000 feet above sea-level. The Hood Monument takes the form of a Doric column. The Wellington Monument is just visible to the naked eye in the right conditions. Street Youth Hostel is visible.

The main industry in Glastonbury is the tanning of sheep-skin.

To get some idea of the height of the Mendip Mast, compare it with Wells Cathedral, which is nearer.

Because of the small scale, certain small features are shown at a slightly larger scale than the rest of the panorama. Most of the view is visible on days of average clarity, but the mountains of South Wales are only visible when it is exceptionally clear.