Saturday, 1 August 2009

1990 Travels

The other day I gave you a brief glimpse of West Kennet Long Barrow from a trip we took over the Spring Bank Holiday in 1990.

Over that long weekend we called to see the Roman baths at the city of Bath in Somerset. We've been there several times over the years but the Great Bath, with the green tint to the water, caused by minerals in the hot springs that feed the bath is always a spectacular sight.

Also on display is the actual spring. I've forgotten just how many gallons gush out of the ground per day but it's a lot and it comes at a constant 40+ degrees of heat.

The Romans called Bath "Aquae Sulis" and it was much later that the British called it Bath after the Baths. Having done something similar at the spot where the Romans left all their rubbish we would have had a major city called Dump...

We also called at Glastonbury, calling to see the well where one legend has it the Holy Grail, used at the Last Supper by Jesus rested for a while as Joseph of Arimathea brought it to this country. There is even a legend that the boy carpenter Jesus was brought here by that merchant - the legend being the inspiration for that most moving hymn, Jerusalem.

"And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green
And was the holy lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen

Glastonbury is known mostly for the music festival these days, but also here is an ancient abbey with a grave that is claimed as being that of King Arthur. The fact that it was discovered and caused a mass inrush of pilgrims bearing monetary gifts just after the 12th Century monks had managed to burn down the abbey and needed a swift restoration fund does however mean you have to be a little cynical of their good fortune...

The abbey has some fairly ancient graffiti to show too - this example dating from 1719!

All the photos from this holiday are available as a set at Flickr.

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