Hello and Welcome to Friends of Bride's MoundTM
The Friends of Bride’s Mound were formed in November 1995 to preserve, protect and enhance the land known as Bride’s Mound and the immediate environs by keeping the natural simplicity of this special place open to the local community and visitors.
|FUNDRAISING PROJECT - “The Swan Circle – The birth of a new stone circle in Kings' Meadow, Worthy Farm, near Glastonbury.” By Ivan McBeth.
This 2016 edition has been updated by the author, who has given permission for the booklet to be sold for the Friends of Brides Mound.
The original was published in 1992, the year the stone circle came to life. Ivan also talks about it on his website.
In this book you will find the original drawings of the layout of the stone circle, now a well known landmark at Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, Somerset and the story of how it came into being, as well as how it was built and what it took to get it finished on time. The references to sacred geometry, astronomy and astrology are intriguing; the diagrams fascinating. Ivan's account is very honest, with magical and personal insights, that draws us into the whole experience and has made me want to go and visit the Swan Circle again with new eyes (and the book as reference in my pocket). If you decide to visit the stone circle yourselves, please follow the public footpaths. However you will need a ticket to the festival to visit it at sunrise on Midsummer, until there is a fallow year, the next one is 2018. Maybe see you there!
Available to buy at Unique Publications in the Old Clinic off St John's Square, Glastonbury or online at http://www.unique-publications.co.uk/ivan-mcbeth.html
Archaeology on the Mound - August 2016
Richard Brunning of Southwest Heritage Trust led a team doing the first archaeological dig on the Mound since Philip Rahtz’s dig in the 1960s. Initially GeoFlo surveyed the area, which clearly showed up the third building that Beth Francis of Avalon Archaeology Group had found when doing the resistivity survey for the Friends in the 1990s. They also found traces of a ditch around the buildings and a possible site for the Well. GeoFlo are now arranging with the Friends to do a survey of the ridge field, which has never been fully surveyed, though Beth did survey part of it.
Richard and team uncovered the eastern end of the chapels and removed some of the skeletons. 35 of these had been removed by Philip Rahtz in the 1960s and were dated to approximately 700AD, but radiocarbon dating in those days was less exact than it is now, so these were wanted for more accurate dating and for analysis of the bones, to attempt to determine where the people had come from. Hopefully, this time the skeletons will be re-interred after the analysis has been done.
They also dug a trench across the building Beth had found and discovered that it had lots of pottery and animal bones, suggesting that it was a place where people stayed and therefore might have been a pilgrims hostel. The legends state that pilgrims used to come across the ford of the river at the end of the ridge field and stay for 24 hours at the chapel before going on up to the Abbey.
A third trench was dug across the ditch that Geoflo had found in their survey but nothing of any note showed up in the area that they covered, although it was confirmed that a ditch did exist and seems to enclose the chapels, priests house and the newly established site of a possible kitchen building.
It was really lovely to see the chapels and Bob Croft of South West Heritage Trust is planning to mark the walls of the chapels on the surface of the Mound so that we can get a better feel for the area that they cover. I was surprised to see that the chapel is not on the top of the Mound, but on the southern slope. It’s siting does however give a particularly good view of the Tor!
Photos of the archaeological dig
© Philip David, All Rights Reserved
The Friends of Bride’s Mound were formed in November 1995 from dedicated volunteers.
To preserve, protect and enhance the land known as Bride’s Mound and the immediate environs by keeping the natural simplicity of this special place open to the local community and visitors.
In 2000 Friends of Bride’s Mound gave evidence at the Public Inquiry for the District Local Plan, establishing that the whole Chapel Field was outside the Morland’s development limit. The Inspector supported our intentions that this place would be respected for its spiritual significance and that any use of the site failing to respect the setting of the Chapel would not be allowed.
In 2005 Friends of Bride’s Mound purchased three fields, i.e. twenty-five acres of land, known locally as ‘The Brides’, which included the Ridge which forms part of the western end of Bride’s Mound. In 2009 Somerset County Council became the owners of the Chapel field. They are liasing with us over the management of the Chapel Field.
After many years of neglect, this land is responding to the love and care from Friends of Bride’s Mound and now Somerset County Council, and is once again taking its rightful place in the Glastonbury landscape as the western gateway to Avalon. The goalposts may have changed over the years but our mission remains the same.
Where is Bride’s Mound?
Bride’s Mound is a small hill to the west of Glastonbury in an area called Beckery island, close to the site known locally as ‘The Morland’s Site’, an abandoned sheepskin factory. This area is in the process of being redeveloped and regenerated. Bride’s Mound is situated near the outlying end of Wearyall Hill, just off the opposite side of Street Road. It can be reached by Bus Nos. 29, 37, 375 and 377 from the Abbey Car Park bus-stop on Magdalene Street, getting off at the Moorlands bus-stop by Beckery Enterprise Park.
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