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FrenchAlbâtre    GermanDer Alabaster

A marble-like stone that is usually white, opaque, or translucent variety of gypsum. It is used for statues, vases, etc.


FrenchUne alcove    GermanDie Nische

An indent or bay in a wall or within a room.


FrenchUn hospice de pauvres    GermanDas Armenhaus

House where poor people could live for free.


FrenchL’antiquité    Germanantiken Überreste

Something remaining from ancient times, such as relics, monuments or traditions and customs.


FrenchL’arbitrage    GermanDie Streitschlichtung, Die Schlichtung

The settling of a dispute.

Arcaded gallery

FrenchLa galerie en arcade    GermanDie Galerie

Elevated gallery from which the head chef could survey the kitchen.


FrenchArche    GermanDer Bogen

A curved structure in architecture spanning an opening which may or may not support weight.


FrenchUne pierre de taille    GermanDer Steinquader, Der Quaderstein

A building stone that has been squared and finished and used for masonry.


FrenchL’île d’Avalon    GermanAvalon

An island featuring in the legends of King Arthur. Many believe Glastonbury to be the island.


FrenchL’avarice    GermanDie Habgier

Excessive desire for wealth or gain; greed.

Battle of Bosworth

FrenchBataille de Bosworth    German(die) Schlacht von Bosworth

Last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, fought on 22 August 1485.

Battle of Hastings

FrenchBataille d'Hastings    German(die) Schlacht von Hastings

Battle fought in 1066 near Hastings between French King William and English King Harold.

Bell cote

FrenchClocheton    GermanDas Türmchen, Der Dachreiter

A turret or framework upon a roof, built to hang bells.

Benedictine Order

FrenchL’ordre Bénédictin    GermanBenediktinerorden, (der) Orden der Benediktiner

A way of monastic life that follows the Rule of St. Benedict dating from c.529 AD.


FrenchCamelot    GermanCamelot

A court and castle featuring in the legends of King Arthur. Its exact location is unknown.


FrenchLe chaudron    GermanDer Kessel

Large cooking pot with a handle used over a fire.


FrenchLe Cellérier    GermanDer Kellermeister

Had overall responsibility for food and drink.


FrenchLa cotte de mailles    GermanDas Kettenhemd

Armour made of interlinking metal chains.


FrenchUn calice    GermanDer Kelch

A cup used to hold wine during the Eucharist/Holy Communion.

Chalice Well

FrenchUn puits sacré    GermanDie Chalice Well, Die Kelchquelle

Sacred well at the foot of Glastonbury Tor which has spiritual and healing properties.


FrenchUne chasuble    GermanDas Messgewand

Sleeveless outer vestment worn by the priest at mass.


FrenchUn chevron    GermanChevron

A pattern in an upside-down V shape.

Chevron mouldings

FrenchLes moulures en chevron    GermanChevron-Form,Chevron-Muster

A zigzag ornamental moulding found in Norman architecture, usually on the outside of archways.


FrenchLe chœur    GermanDas Chorgestühl

Where the monks of an abbey would have sat in the church during worship. Nowadays it is where the choir sits and sings from during services.


FrenchUne Christogramme    GermanDas Chorgestühl

A monogram or combination of letters which is an abbreviation for Jesus Christ and is traditionally used as a Christian symbol.

Christ’s Passion

FrenchLe Mystère de la Passion    GermanDie Passion Christi

The story of Christ’s arrest, trial and suffering and ends with his crucifixion.


FrenchLa cloître    GermanDer Klostergang

A covered walk usually with a garden or a yard surrounded by church buildings. Cloisters are usually found in monasteries or large churches.

Cluniac Order

FrenchL’ordre de Cluny/ Les Clunisiens    GermanDer Cluniazenserorden, Orden der Cluniazenser

A medieval organisation of the Benedictines, which was centred at Cluny Abbey in France. It was founded in 910, Cluny was the head of far-reaching religious reform in the Middle Ages. It was second only to the papacy during its height (c.950–c.1130) as the chief religious force in Europe. The order weakened in the 12th century.


FrenchUn couvent    GermanDas Nonnenkloster

A Christian community of nuns living together under monastic vows.


FrenchChape    GermanDas Pluviale,Der Chormantel

A long, loose cloak worn by a priest or bishop on ceremonial occasions.


FrenchFlambeau    GermanDie Feuerschale

A metal cup or basket that is suspended and has a flammable liquid inside and would be lit to provide lighting.


FrenchLa crosse (d'évêque)    GermanDer Bischofsstab

A staff like a shepherd’s crook carried by bishops and abbots to reflect their office.

Cross finial

FrenchFleuron Croix    GermanDas Zierkreuz

The cross at the end of a roof or a staff.


FrenchUn creuset    GermanDer Schmelztiegel

A melting pot for glass or other materials.


FrenchBurette    GermanDas Messkännchen

A vessel to hold wine or water for the Eucharist.


FrenchLes croisades    GermanDie Kreuzritter, Die Kreuzfahrer

Medieval campaigns to the Holy Land in the Middle East around Jerusalem with the aim of gaining back this land from the Muslims. The crusades took place in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries.


FrenchLa crypte    GermanDie Krypta

An underground chamber usually beneath a church or chapel for holy relics and burials.


FrenchCulte    GermanDer Kult

Religious devotion typically shown through ritual behaviour and creation of religious monuments, images or objects.

Defender of the Faith

FrenchDéfenseur de la foi    GermanDer Verteidiger des Glaubens

From the Latin, Fidei Defensor. This title was given to Henry VIII in 1521 by Pope Leo X until Henry broke away from the Church. The title was restored to the King by Parliament in 1544 and has been held by each British monarch since then.


FrenchPiller    Germanplündern, rauben

To plunder; to remove or forcibly take, valuable possessions.


FrenchIndigent/ dans le dénuement    Germanverarmt, Not leidend

To be extremely poor.


FrenchLa dissolution    GermanDie Auflösung

The breaking down or disintegration of an organisation, such as Glastonbury Abbey.

Domesday Book

FrenchLe Domesday Book    GermanDas Buch des Jüngsten Tages, Das Doomsday Book

Completed in 1086, the book was commissioned under William the Conqueror and includes all land-holdings, the wealth of each landholder and livestock in England and parts of Wales.


FrenchUne effigie    GermanDas Abbild

Commonly found on tombs, effigies are usually life size likenesses of a person made of stone, or often of wood in the Medieval period.


FrenchInféoder    GermanDas Lehensgut

To give someone freehold property or land in return for their pledged service, as happened under the feudal system.


FrenchL’excommunication    GermanDie Exkommunikation

Exclusion from the church.


FrenchUn fagot    GermanDas Holzbündel, Das Reisigbündel

Bundles of kindling for a fire.


FrenchUne fresque    GermanDer Fresko

A painting on wet plaster.


FrenchFruggan    GermanDer Aschekratzer, Die Ofengabel

A long handled instrument with metal chains at the end that removes ash from a medieval oven.


The iron bar in the chimney from which the pot-hooks hang.


FrenchCeinture/la gaine    GermanDer Gürtel

A belt or cord that is tied around the waist.


FrenchGothique    German(die) Gotik

Style of architecture found across Europe. It originated in France in the 12th Century, evolving from Romanesque architecture and lasted into the 16th Century.


FrenchGranger    GermanDer Bauer

Supplier of cereals and beans.

Henry of Blois

FrenchHenri de Blois    GermanHeinrich von Blois

Abbot of Glastonbury from 1126 until 1171.


FrenchUn ermite    GermanDer Eremit

A person who lives a solitary life away from society.

Hides of Land

FrenchLot de terre    GermanDie Hide

A unit of land measurement which usually indicated the amount of land needed to support a household.

High Altar

FrenchLe maitre-autel    GermanDer Hauptaltar,Der Hochaltar

The main altar within a church.

Holy Grail

FrenchLe (Saint) Graal    GermanDer Heilige Gral

A cup, plate or stone that is said to have the powers of eternal youth, happiness and food in abundance; or alternatively the cup used at the Last Supper and used by Joseph of Arimathea to carry the blood of Christ. It is especially prominent in Arthurian legend.

Holy Thorn

FrenchUne aubépine sainte    GermanDer Heilige Dornbusch

Tree that is said to have grown from Joseph of Arimathea’s staff when he placed it in the ground at Wearyall Hill.


FrenchLa marelle    GermanHimmel und Hölle, (Hickelkasten)

A game marked out on the ground in numbered squares which the players hop over


FrenchUne auberge    GermanDie Herberge

An inn or a pub with accommodation.

Hung, drawn and quartered

FrenchÊtre pendu, traîné et écartelé    GermanHängen, Ausweiden und Vierteilen

A form of punishment from 1351 if convicted of high treason. A person would be hung by the neck until almost dead, have their insides cut out, be beheaded and then be cut into four parts.


FrenchEmpaler    GermanAufspießen

To pierce with a pointed/sharpened object.


FrenchIndulgences    GermanDer Ablass

A form of absolving sin and reducing your time in purgatory. Indulgences can either be bought or can be given by a monk.

Iron gridiron

FrenchUn gril de fer    GermanDer Bratrost

Used to cook fish on.

Jesus Maria Stone

FrenchUn stèle dédié à Jésus

Stone on the outside of the Lady Chapel that was one of the significant stopping points for the pilgrims visiting Glastonbury Abbey.

Jew’s Harp

FrenchGuimbarde    GermanDie Maultrommel

A small lyre-shaped musical instrument which creates a single note by being held between the teeth and being struck with a finger. The sound changes if the player alters the shape of his mouth. The monks would use it to get their pitch before signing/chanting.

Joseph of Arimathea

FrenchSaint Joseph d’Arimathie    GermanJoseph von Aramathäa

Jesus’ uncle (or great-uncle). It is said that he brought Jesus, as a teenager, to Britain.


FrenchLa clef de voûte    GermanDer Schlussstein

The stone at the top of the arch, or in the roof, that holds all the other stones in place and stops the roof, or part of a bridge, falling down.

King Arthur

FrenchLe roi Arthur    GermanKönig Artus

British King from the late 5th century and early 6th century that defended Britain from the invading Saxons. His bones, and those of his wife, Queen Guinevere, are said to have been discovered in Glastonbury Abbey.

Lady Chapel

FrenchLa chapelle de la Vierge    GermanDie Marienkapelle

Chapel dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, particularly within a large church or in a cathedral.


FrenchLe saute-mouton    GermanDas Bockspringen

Game whereby one player jumps over a second player who is bent from the waist.


FrenchUne légende    GermanDie Legende

A traditional story which is seen by many as being historical, but has never been authenticated.


FrenchLes lignes telluriques    GermanHeilige Linien

Lines of energy that run through numerous ancient monuments and/or prehistoric sites that appear to be aligned.


FrenchLa liturgie    GermanDie Liturgie

A particular form of public service laid down by a church or religious group.

Magna Carta

FrenchLa Grande Charte    GermanDie Magna Charta

A civil rights document that was signed in 1215 by King John (1166-1216) giving greater protection of Church rights, among other measures.

Magna Tabula

FrenchMagna Tabula    GermanMagna Tabula (Glastoniensis)

A book made from several wooden plaques which listed the indulgences that were at Glastonbury Abbey and the beginnings of the abbey.


FrenchCrèche    GermanDie Krippe

A trough which contains animal feed; traditionally it is said that Jesus was born in one.


FrenchUn martyre    GermanDas Martyrium

The death of someone due to their religious faith.


FrenchUne massacre    GermanDas Massaker

The violent killing of a group of people.


FrenchLa sage-femme    GermanDie Hebamme

Traditionally a woman that assists during the birth.


FrenchMiséricordes    GermanDie Miserikordie

Seats in the choir that fold-down and are used to rest or to perch.


FrenchMonastique    GermanKlösterlich

Relating to monks and/or to a monastery.


FrenchUne monogramme    GermanDas Monogramm

A motif/symbol made of two or more letters.


FrenchLe mortier    GermanDer Mörser, Die Reibschale

Used in conjunction with the pestle, this is the bowl in which the herbs and spices are ground in.


FrenchUn pattern, un motif    GermanDas Muster Das Motiv

A repeated design or image which forms a pattern.


FrenchLa nativité    GermanChristi Geburt, Die Weihnachtsgeschichte

The story and Christian festival of Jesus’ birth.


FrenchLa nef    GermanDas Hauptschiff

Main part of the church where the majority of services take place and where the congregation is placed.


FrenchLes Normands    GermanDie Normannen

Name of the people from the north of France who ruled Britain from 1066 until 1154.

Papal legate

FrenchLégat du Pape    GermanPäpstlicher Legat

The Pope’s personal representative to foreign nations within Catholic countries.


FrenchLe patronage    GermanDie Patronage

Support given by a patron


FrenchLe pilon    GermanDer Stößel

Used in conjunction with a mortar, this is a heavy, blunt instrument used to grind things, typically herbs and spices.

Piers of the crossing

FrenchPiliers de la Taversée    GermanDas Strebewerk

Four arches that support the tower of the church.


FrenchLa piété    GermanDie Frömmigkeit

Devotion to God; being pious.


FrenchLe pèlerinage    GermanDie Pilgerfahrt

A typically long journey to a sacred place, usually for religious devotion.

Pilgrim’s licence

FrenchPermis de pélerin    GermanDer Pilgerbrief

A licence granted by a priest or bishop to a pilgrim to allow them to travel on pilgrimage.


FrenchLa piscine (lavabo)    GermanDas Lavabo

Stone basin, usually built into the wall, which is used to wash holy vessels during Mass or Communion services.


FrenchPlantagenet    GermanDas Haus (der) Plantagenet, Die Plantagenets

British royal house whose family were monarchs from 1154 until 1485. This period included the Wars of the Roses and the Battle of Bosworth, in which Richard III, the last Plantagenet King, died. Plantagenet kings include Richard the Lionheart.


FrenchLa enceinte/ la circonscription    GermanDer Klosterbezirk

The area within the boundaries of a monastery including all religious and lay buildings in which monastic daily life took place.


FrenchLe purgatoire    GermanDer Beichtstuhl

Place where sinners go upon death to absolve their sins before moving onto heaven.


FrenchQuaker    GermanDie Quäker

Christian movement founded in around 1650 which promotes peace.


FrenchLe radiocarbon    GermanDie Radiokarbonmethode

A method of dating the age of material that was once living (eg. wood).

Reckon hooks

GermanDas Drehbein

Used to lower or raise the cooking pots over the fire to adjust the temperature.


FrenchLe réfectoire, la cantine    GermanDas Refektorium

The dining hall.


FrenchLa Réforme    GermanDie Reformation

Movement in the 16th century that aimed to reform the Roman Catholic Church and resulted in the establishment of the Protestant Church under Henry VIII.

Regularis Concordia

FrenchRegularis Concordia    GermanRegula Benedicti, Die Benediktsregel

The most important document of English Benedictine Reform compiled by Æthelwold, Bishop of Winchester in around 973 AD. The document laid down rules for monks and nuns to follow and it prevented abuses by the church.


FrenchUn reliquaire    GermanDas Requiliar

A container or box containing holy relics, usually of a saint.

Retrochoir or retroquire

FrenchLe chœur    GermanDer Staffelchor

The space between the high altar and the end chapel in a cathedral or in a large church.


FrenchLa révérence    GermanDie Ehrfurcht

To have deep respect for, or to treat with great respect.

Richard the Lionheart

FrenchRichard Cœur de Lion    GermanRichard Löwenherz

Richard I (known as Richard the Lionheart) was an English Plantagenet King from 1189-1199.

Richard Whiting

FrenchL’Abbé Richard Whiting    GermanDer Abt Richard Whiting

Last abbot of Glastonbury Abbey from 1525 until 1539.

Roma Seconda

FrenchRoma Seconda    GermanRoma Seconda

From the Latin, meaning Second Rome. This was used to describe Glastonbury, due to its great influence and power.


FrenchArchitecture Romane    GermanRomanisch (die Romanik)

Style of architecture found across Europe from around 900-1200 AD.

Rood screen

FrenchLe jubé    GermanDer Lettner

Elaborate, wooden screen used to divide areas of a church.

Rule of St. Benedict

FrenchRègle de Saint Benoît    GermanDie Regeln des heiligen Benedikt

Written by St. Benedict in the 6th century, this is a guide for all Christians who are committed to the monastic movement and is still used today. It was used by most monasteries in Europe in the Middle Ages. It includes directions for daily life in a monastery.


FrenchLa chandelle    GermanDas Talglicht

Candle made from the pith of a rush dipped in grease.


FrenchUn aisle, un sanctuaire    GermanDas Sanktuarium (der Zufluchtsort)

Area or building of safety or refuge from pursuit, persecution or danger. Also, the holiest part of the church where the high altar stands.


FrenchLes Saxons    GermanDie Sachsen

A confederation of German tribes that settled in Britain in the early Middle Ages and created the Anglo-Saxons.


FrenchUne écritoire    GermanDas Skriptorium

Area or room dedicated to writing, particularly found in monasteries where monks would copy manuscripts.


FrenchUne arrière-cuisine    GermanDie Spülküche

The washing up area within a kitchen. In a large house this is usually a separate room.


FrenchLaïque    GermanSekular, Laisistisch

Non- spiritual. For example a building, state or country that is not associated with religious belief.


FrenchLe trèfle    GermanDas Kleeblatt

The national symbol of Ireland – a small plant with three leaves on each stem.

Sociology of religion

FrenchSociologie de la religion    GermanReligionssoziolgie

The study or beliefs and practices associated with organised religion using sociology (the study of social problems and the development and organisation of human society).

St Dunstan

FrenchSaint Dunstan    GermanDunstan von Canterbury

Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey (943-962), Bishop of Worcester, Bishop of London, and Archbishop of Canterbury who was canonised as a saint. He established Benedictine monasticism at Glastonbury.

St Michael’s Tower

FrenchLa tour de Saint Michel    GermanTurm des heiligen Michael

Church on top of Glastonbury Tor which was constructed in the 11th or 12th century. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1275 and a second church was built on the same site in the 14th century. Due to the dissolution, the church, was demolished except for the tower which remains today.


FrenchUn bâton    GermanDer Stab

A long stick used to aid walking


FrenchSomptueux    GermanKostbar, prächtig, opulent

Rich or expensive.

Thomas Cromwell

FrenchThomas Cromwell    GermanThomas Cromwell

Chief Minister to Henry VIII from 1532 until 1540.


FrenchTintagel    GermanTintagel

Village in Cornwall whose castle is associated with King Arthur.


FrenchUn impôt, une dîme    GermanDer Zehnt

Traditionally the tenth part of produce, agriculture or income given to the church as a form of gift or tax.

To consecrate

FrenchConsacrer    Germanweihen

To dedicate an area or a building to religious purposes.

To repent

FrenchSe repentir de    GermanBereuhen

To confess and/or to express regret at any wrongdoing or sin.

To venerate

FrenchVénérer    Germanverehren

Regard with great respect, revere.


FrenchUne cabine de péage    GermanMautstelle

A building or kiosk in which pedestrians and vehicles must pay to use a road or bridge.


FrenchLe transept    GermanDes Querschiff

This is a section which lies across the main body of the building and separates the nave from the choir.


FrenchUn trèfle    GermanDas Kleeblatt Der Klee

A plant which has three leaves on each stem.


FrenchTriforium    GermanDas Triforium

A galleried walkway on the second floor above the nave.


FrenchTriquetra    GermanDie Triqueta

Originally meaning ‘triangle’ and therefore referring to all three sided shapes. Christians use this symbol to represent the Trinity (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit).


FrenchUne chambre sous le sol, surtout dans une église    GermanDer Gewölbekeller

A room, often vaulted, partly or fully underground, usually used for storage.


FrenchUne voûte    GermanDas Grabgewölbe, Die Gruft

A roof structure in a series of arches resting on pillars.

Wars of Roses

FrenchLes Guerres des Roses    GermanDer Rosenkrieg

An English civil war, fought between the Houses of Lancaster and York between 1455 and 1487. Lancaster won and created the Tudor dynasty.

Wattle and daub

FrenchLe clayonnage enduit de torchis    GermanDie Flechtwerkwand (mit Lehm verputzt)

Building material of woven wooden strips (wattle) covered with a sticky material of clay, wet soil, sand, animal dung or straw (daub).

Wearyall Hill

FrenchWearyall Hill    GermanWearyall Hill

The hill in Glastonbury upon which Joseph of Arimathea is said to have placed his staff into the ground where it took root and became the Holy Thorn.

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