Alleged Remains of Three Dimensional Maze, Glastonbury Tor

Record ID:  118068*6 / MNA137661
Record type:  Monument
Protected Status: Scheduled Monument
NT Property:  Glastonbury Tor; South West
Civil Parish:  Glastonbury; Mendip; Somerset
Grid Reference:  ST 511 385
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Summary

It has been recently ( 1960's) suggested that the terraces that encircle the whole Tor is in fact, the remains of a gigantic three dimensional maze.

Identification Images (0)

Monument Types

  • MAZE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Description

It has been recently ( 1960's) suggested that the terraces that encircle the whole Tor in a more or less concentric pattern are not of either natural origin or the result of human agricultural activity but are, in fact, the remains of a gigantic three dimensional maze. If it were then it would be of the greatest importance in any consideration of the religious aspects of Glastonbury.

While it would be impossible to declare categorically that such a maze did not exist on the Tor, partially obliterated by land- slip and erosion, simple observation makes it clear that the terraces do not now form a continuous pathway. 'Miz-mazes' or turf mazes, created as an aid to meditation and representing the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, are known throughout the country, usually in association with medieval monastic establishments, but on a much smaller scale than the Tor terraces and on level ground. Since there is no maze even vaguely of similar size or of three dimensions known anywhere, and since there are many places on the Tor where the terraces appear to be discontinuous, and since we have no idea of the date of the foundation of any of these terraces, it seems there is no reason to entertain the hypothesis that the terraces represent one contemporary structure, let alone that they formed a maze ( Hollinrake C & N 1997, 5,6).

References

  • --- SZN3210 - Unpublished document: C Hollinrake, N Hollinrake. 1997. An Archaeological Desk Top Study of Glastonbury Tor and its Environs.

  • --- SZN48197 - Unpublished document: Charles & Nancy Hollinrake. 2003. An Archaeological Watching Brief at Glastonbury Tor during entrances and pathways enhancement.

Designations

Other Statuses and References

  • HER/SMR Reference (External): 23567
  • National Monuments Record Reference: ST53NW8

Associated Events

  • ENA3130 - Archaeological Intervention, Archaeological watching brief during footpath maintenance
  • ENA3399 - Heritage Assessment,

Associated Finds

None Recorded

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