Glastonbury AbbeyTNG by Emily EavisRescue Our Ruins AppealTourist Board - Quality Assured Visitor AttractionMAS Accredited Museum







Legendary date for arrival of Joseph of Arimathea

Legendary foundation of the first community

From AD 43: the Roman Conquest of Britain




Departure of the last Roman troops from Britain



(Supposed visit of St Patrick)


Before c. 670


The British church


From 670s/680s


The Anglo-Saxon minster


688 to 726

King Ine grants much land to the abbey and builds the first stone church



877 to 899



Reign of King Alfred.

940 to 963

Dunstan extends Ine's church

Dunstan is Abbot. He establishes the Benedictine Rule




King Edmund is buried in the abbey





Dunstan is made Archbishop of Canterbury



King Edgar is buried





Battle of Hastings


Abbot Thurstin replaces the Saxon church with a larger Norman one

Abbot Thurstin is dismissed after his soldiers kill monks by the High Altar


1100 to 1118

Abbot Herlewin demolishes Thurstin's church and rebuilds it on a grander scale

Abbot Herlewin



New Cloisters, Bell Tower, Chapter House, Refectory, Infirmary, Outer Gate, Brewery and Stables are built

Abbot Henry of Blois
William of Malmesbury completes his history of the abbey, "De Antiquitate Glastonie Ecclesie"



Great fire destroys the abbey including the Old Church




The Lady Chapel is built on the site of the Old Church

King Henry II puts his chancellor, Ralph Fitzstephen in charge of rebuilding



Work starts on building the east end of the Great Church


Third Crusade to the Holy Land led by King Richard I



Tombs of King Arthur and Guinevere found in the cemetery




Start of a 24 year feud between the abbey and the Bishop of Bath and Wells



The Great Church is consecrated






King John signs the Magna Carta

1274 to 1291

The nave of the Great Church is completed by Abbot John of Taunton

King Edward I and Queen Eleanor attend the reburial of King Arthur's bones in the choir


c.1325 to 1360

The Abbot's Hall, lodgings and kitchen are built


The start of the 100 Years War between England and France (1337)

1342 to 1348

The choir of the Great Church is remodelled and extended by two bays

Abbot Walter of Monington

The Black Death kills one third of the population of England

1375 to 1415

The Cloisters are rebuilt

Abbot John Chinnock

Chaucer writes "The Canterbury Tales";
The Battle of Agincourt

1455 to 1492


Abbot John Selwood builds the George & Pilgrim Inn and rebuilds the Parish Church

The Wars of the Roses
Columbus discovers America

1493 to 1524

St. Patrick's Almshouses are built
St Joseph's Chapel is created below the Lady Chapel.
The Edgar Chapel and Loretto Chapel are built.

Abbot Richard Beere
King Henry VII visits the abbey

Martin Luther challenges the sale of indulgences - the start of the Reformation

1534 to 1538


Abbot Richard Whiting signs the Act of Supremacy

Acts of Suppression of the Monasteries are passed


The Dissolution of Glastonbury Abbey

Abbot Whiting is hanged on Glastonbury Tor




A colony of Flemish weavers is settled on the abbey site



Consolidation and repair of the ruined abbey begins

The abbey ruins are purchased by the Church of England