Glastonbury (glăsˈtənbərē) [key], town (1991 pop. 6,751), Somerset, SW England. It has a leather industry, but Glastonbury is famous for its religious associations and many legends. One legend tells that St. Joseph of Arimathea founded the first Christian church in England there. On Wearyall Hill he rested his staff, which rooted and became the Glastonbury thorn, blooming annually on Christmas Eve. Another story identifies Glastonbury as the Isle of Avalon of Arthurian legend. Glastonbury Abbey was a center of learning and an object of pilgrimages in the Middle Ages. Extensive remains of an Iron Age lake village have been found nearby.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish Political Geography