NEW AGE THOUGHT IN GLASTONBURY

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PART ONE: THE FREAKS OF GLASTONBURY


From:

Some Aspects of the Contemporary Search for an Alternative Society, [In Glastonbury, England, 1967-1971]

By Irving Hexham, Unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Bristol, 1981

COPYRIGHT 1971

N.B. When this thesis was written University of Bristol M.A. Theses were limited to a mere 10,000 words.

The following thesis was written under the supervision of F.B. Welbourn.


Section One

Glastonbury is a small country town six miles from the ancient cathedral city of Wells. The town's main claim to fame is concerned with the history of its ruined abbey, once one of the major centres for pilgrimage in Britain and now a popular tourist attraction. The town is situated at the foot of a series of low hills the chief of which is known as the Tor [1] Like the rest of Somerset the area has an ageing population which is relatively wealthy. Most of the town's inhabitants would probably like to be described as "good citizens" or "normal respectable people" [2].

Throughout the middle-ages Glastonbury was a centre for religious and cultic activities. At the time of the Reformation its great abbey was dissolved and its relics dispersed and destroyed, resulting in a loss of interest in the area. However, during this century there has been a revival of interest in Glastonbury among religious people. Around 1900 a group of Roman Catholic monks opened a novitiate in the town and expressed their wish to buy the abbey ruins with the intention of rebuilding it. When they were outbid for the ruins by a member of the Church of England in 1907 they moved out of the area. A convent was opened by the Sisters of Charity in 1904 and since 1920 there has been an annual Roman Catholic pilgrimage. Since 1924 the Anglicans have held their own pilgrimage. The Anglicans also run a retreat house attached to the abbey grounds [3].

Other less orthodox groups have also been attracted to the area. These include the British Israelites who opened a centre for a short time during the 1920's and returned in 1970 to open their national conference centre [4]. Dion Fortune, an occult writer, founded the Society of the Inner Light and opened a guest house which also served as a cultic centre during the 1920's. She also built a small pagan temple which had a mosaic of the signs of the zodiac on its floor [5] Another woman, who had been a spiritualist medium, claimed to receive messages from a cosmic being, the Lord Mikall, during the late 1930's. She published six small books, the chief of which is entitled The Winds of Truth, and founded a small society known as the Group of Solar Teaching. This group still exists and although the original medium has died it continues to propagate her "revelations" [6].  Other groups like the "Druids" and the "Essenes" have also been active in Glastonbury and their members still occasionally return to hold meetings and perform sacred rites [7].

In addition to these semi-institutionalised groups there are a number of people living in the area who could perhaps best be described as "spirituals". They are united by the belief that Glastonbury is an important spiritual centre. Some would describe it as the "religious heart of Britain" while others would say that it is "the most sacred place in the world". These people appear to be quite conventional in their dress and way of life, fitting into the general life of the town very well. But they do not think like the majority of the population. They believe that modern society is in decline because it has lost its "spiritual roots". Materialism has caused this decline and is a curse which they reject. They seek to find spiritual satisfaction and base their lives on religious values. The majority of these people remain outside of any established religious traditions but a few belong to local churches even though they hold beliefs which verge on heresy [8].

Since the summer of 1967 an increasing number of young people have been coming to Glastonbury on what they claim is a "spiritual quest". They are referred to by the local press and people as "hippies", a name they dislike, usually preferring to be called "Freaks" [9] The townspeople are divided in their attitude towards these young intruders who are immediately recognisable by their long hair and unusual clothes. Some people are very sympathetic towards them, taking the view that they do no real harm and are merely going through a stage of growing up. Others see them as a real menace and claim that they have a "bad" effect upon the town's youth as well as discouraging tourists from visiting Glastonbury [10].

The Spirituals tends to be very sympathetic to the Freaks, seeing in them fellow pilgrims seeking religious truth. But they are always very careful to point out that while they appreciate the spiritual longings of the freaks they do not approve of all their activities. In saying this they imply that by befriending the Freaks they hope to exercise a "steadying influence" upon them. Practically the Spirituals give the Freaks a lot of help, like allowing them to have baths in their homes. They also tell the Freaks their own particular views on Glastonbury and its religious significance as well as suggesting and lending more general books which will help them spiritually [11].

The Freaks who come to Glastonbury may be roughly divided into two groups: the Visitors and the Settlers. A Visitor is someone who stays in Glastonbury for a short time only before moving on. They sleep rough, often on the Tor, and usually stay for between three days and three weeks. Settlers have all lived in Glastonbury, at some time, for at least six months. They often live there for a few months, go away for a short time, and then return again for a few more months. Quite a few seem to go to London during the coldest part of the winter [12].

Between Christmas 1970 and Easter 1972 there were around eighteen Settlers and ten Visitors to be found in Glastonbury at any one time. From Easter until mid-August these numbers rose to twenty-five Settlers and between twenty and thirty Visitors. During the weeks prior to the "Glastonbury Fair", which was a "free pop festival" held in nearby Pilton, over one hundred Visitors were to be found in the Glastonbury area [13].

The majority of these Visitors are between the ages of sixteen and twenty: a few are over twenty and occasionally someone well over thirty will appear among them. They are predominantly male, though some are accompanied by younger women. The mast of the Visitors come from homes which would belong to categories 2, 4, 5, 7 and 8 on the Registrar General's socio-economic classification scale as used in the 1961 Census. A sizable minority come from homes which would fall into categories 10 and 11 of this scale, while occasionally a member of the aristocracy is to be found among them. Educationally most of the Visitors are the products of grammar schools. Some have gone on to institutions of higher education from which a minority have completely dropped-out. Most of the "drop-outs" seem to come from Art Colleges and were usually on fine art courses [N.B. dropping out from college was very rare in England in the late 1960's and early 1970's].

Visitors tend to hold fairly conventional views about sex and marriage but few are in fact married. Casual sex, however, appears to be rare, women usually arriving with "their" man whom they clearly hope to marry when circumstances permit. Most of the Visitors bring with them the money which they are going to need while in Glastonbury. The majority will have earned this but a large minority seem to rely upon either their parents or social security for their finances. All regard work as something which ought to be enjoyable and if it is not enjoyable it should be avoided as much as possible. The majority feel that stealing from large department stores or small shops which are obviously doing a very successful trade is not wrong but they are honest with the small trader who is struggling for his existence. The ethics of this morality is indicated by the use of the term "liberating" when the Freaks refer to theft. Theft amongst themselves appears to be rare [14].

Most of the Settlers live in old caravans which they park on the sides of roads leading out of the town. Four of the Settlers are over twenty-five, the rest are between twenty and twenty-five. There are a few more men than women among the Settlers but on average the women are older than the men. Two-thirds of the Settlers come from backgrounds which would be classified in socio-economic groups 6, 10 and 11. The rest come from homes in groups 2, 4, 5 and 7. All the Settlers have poor educational records. A minority attended grammar schools and two are drop-outs from `A' level courses at colleges of further education. One has failed a university degree [Again this was a very rare event in England at that time]. All the couples among the Settlers are married and four of them have children. There is one unmarried mother who lives alone. The Settlers seem to live on incomes earned through working locally and supplements obtained from social security. There is a pattern of intensive visiting among the settlers who call on each other and the spirituals. Food and other useful items are often shared and great interest is taken in each other's welfare, the children form a special focus of attention as well as an important link with the local residents [15].

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD-25), known as "acid" by Freaks, forms a common bond between the Visitors and Settlers. At some time all Freaks who go to Glastonbury have used acid and through the effect which it has had on them claim to have come to a new, spiritual, understanding of the world. This understanding is called "turning on" and is equated by men like Dr. Timothy Leary with eastern techniques of ecstasy and mystical awareness. Through the use of acid freaks reach self-realisation and see the world in a new enriched way gaining a sense of the unity of the universe. This causes them to see life in modern society for what it is: an empty meaningless mess. They now begin to appreciate the need for spiritual fulfilment. Their spiritual needs, they believe, can be met through techniques of meditation and other religious exercises. The

Visitors to Glastonbury combine these "spiritual exercises" with the use of acid and to a lesser extent cannabis. But the Settlers all claim to be off drugs. They claim that through living in Glastonbury they have reached a state of "spirituality" which no longer requires "chemical aids" although they admit that they would have never reached this state without originally being "turned-on" by acid [16].

The particular aura which Glastonbury has for Freaks is partly explained by its religious history and its ruins which are a constant reminder of this history. There are three places of special interest for the Freaks in Glastonbury and these are believed to give the whole surrounding area a sacred atmosphere. These places are the ruined Abbey, the Chalice Well and the Tor [17].

When the Abbey was first founded no-one knows. Its history goes back long before the Saxon occupation of Britain and is shrouded in legends. Around 943 A.D. St. Dunstan reorganised an existing institution along Benedictine lines. After the Norman invasion the Abbey was enlarged by successive abbots. In 1184 the great church was destroyed in a fire, as were many other buildings. But they were rebuilt fairly quickly. During the fifteenth century Abbot Bere excavated a crypt beneath the Lady Chapel. The last abbot was hanged by Henry VIII's church commissioners at the top of the Tor on 15th November, 1539. After its subsequent dissolution the abbey fell into ruin.

Early in 1907 the ruins were auctioned by their owners and bought by the Bishop of Bath and Wells for the Church of England. The architect Mr. F. Bligh Bond was employed to restore the ruins and to carry out excavation work. He did this from 1908 to 1921 with interruptions in the work due to the First World War. In 1922 the work was discontinued, by the Trustees of the Abbey, but was resumed in 1926 by Mr. T. Fyfe [18].

It is popularly believed that Bond was dismissed from his post as director of the excavations at Glastonbury Abbey because he claimed to receive through the medium of automatic writing "revelations" which purported to come from monks who had lived in the abbey. These messages are believed to have embarrassed the Church authorities. Bond originally claimed that he believed that the messages were the result of a "racial unconscious". He later seems to have come to believe that they came from departed "spirits" [19].

The Abbey is important to the Freaks in providing a source for innumerable stories about its history and mystical significance. They are particularly interested in Bond's writings and in stories about him. Because there is a charge made for entry to the Abbey grounds, few freaks are able to spend any time there. This tends to reduce its importance for them as a cultic centre [20].

The second place of interest to the Freaks is the Chalice Well. This is a spring situated at the foot of the Tor which has a daily outflow of 25,000 gallons of water. The well has two unusually shaped chambers built of large ancient stones. These chambers probably date from the twelfth century, being constructed with stones salvaged from the abbey fire of 1184. The purpose of the well's inner chamber is unclear but it may have been a sedimentation tank. There is, however, some evidence to suggest that the well and its chambers may be much older than the date assigned and that it was once approached through a grove of Yew trees. This evidence has given rise to speculation about the possible Druid origin of the well [21].

The well appears to have been originally called Chickwell but sometime in the twelfth century it became known as Chalice Well probably due to the growing popularity of the Arthurian legends and their association with Glastonbury through stories about Joseph of Aramathea. During the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries claims were made about the "healing properties" of the well's water and it enjoyed brief spells of popularity as a centre for people seeking healing [22].

In 1959 the well and an adjacent house, known as Little St. Michael's were bought by the Chalice Well Trust. This body was formed by Major W. Tudor-Pole to prevent the water from the well being used for industrial purposes. Originally the Trust intended to open a guest house and religious centre in Little St. Michael's, but these plans were never fully developed. After beginning the project Major Tudor-Pole believed that he received a vision of the "Upper Room" used by Christ and his Disciples for the Last Supper. As a result of this vision the attic of Little St. Michael's was made into a shrine intended to be a duplication of Tudor-Pole's vision. This reconstruction of the "Upper Room" differs from the one set not for supper but for breakfast when Christ returns [23]

When the Freaks first arrived in Glastonbury the Chalice Well and its garden was open to the public without charge. After a certain amount of tension between the Warden of the Well and the Freaks an entry charge has been introduced. This has reduced the importance of the Well to the Freaks in some ways but it still retains great importance through being the source of their drinking water obtained through an overflow outlet in Wellhouse Lane. The legends which have accumulated around the Well and the stories about Tudor-Pole's "Upper Room" all add to its mystique [24].

The most important feature in Glastonbury for the Freaks is the Tor. This is a conical shaped hill, owned by the National Trust, from the top of which it is possible to see for miles in all directions. Because of its steep "unnatural" sides a belief has existed that the Tor is man-made. It is in fact an unusual but natural hill. The archaeologist Dr. C. A. R. Radford believes that the Tor once formed a part of a vast pre-Roman pagan cultic centre. This idea has been developed by Mr. G. N. Russell who has suggested that the terracing on the sides of the hill can best be explained as the remains of a three dimensional maze once used in cultic initiation rites. These theories have been in circulation among occultists for many years and are seized upon by the Spirituals and Freaks [25].

On the top of the Tor is the ruined tower of the ancient church of St. Michael's. This church is attributed in local legend to the work of St. Patrick in the fifth century. All that is certain about its history is that a church existed on the site in the twelfth century. During the Reformation this church was destroyed, the tower alone being left standing. This tower was restored to its present condition in 1804. The tower is square with sides about twelve feet long and a height of about forty feet. It is hollow and has no roof. Entry may be gained to it by an open doorway which faces the town.

Freaks gather on the Tor and often sit talking inside the tower where they are sheltered from the high winds which blow around the top of the Tor. The visitors tend to use the tower as a convenient place to store their belongings although they rarely sleep inside it, preferring to sleep on the lower slopes of the Tor. At present the Tor is one of the main meeting places for the freaks, access to it still being free. The other main meeting place is on the grass in front of St. John's Church in Glastonbury High Street. A number of local residents object to their being allowed to gather in these places but so far the National Trust and local vicar have had a friendly attitude towards them [26].

The Freak's interest in Glastonbury as a whole is stimulated by the large number of medieval legends connected with the town. In the middle-ages these legends were used to attract pilgrims, today they attract tourists. There are two basic themes for these legends.

The first concerns Joseph of Arimathea who, it is claimed, first brought Christianity to Britain and in doing so brought the Holy Grail to Glastonbury where he settled. The second theme concerns King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in their search for the Holy Grail.

To these basic themes many elaborations have been added and are constantly being created by occultists in the name of the "New Age". These include stories about the Druids, Christ coming to Britain and flying saucers [27].

Perhaps the most amazing addition to the Glastonbury legends is the claim of Miss K. E. Maltwood to have discovered the true meaning of the Grail stories. She interpreted the stories in terms of archetypes which she then identified with the signs of the zodiac. Having done this she then claimed to have discovered these signs constructed in gigantic earthworks in and around Glastonbury. All this she believed she could prove with the aid of a 1" ordnance survey map and aerial photographs taken from a height of 30,000 feet.

Among the Freaks the existence of this "Somerset zodiac" is taken as proved. More recently the stories of the zodiac have been linked with flying saucer stories. These, together with the more historical legends, provide the drawing power for the freaks' interest in Glastonbury. Their importance in the Freak world-view will be discussed in Section Two where the beliefs of freaks are generally outlined [28].

NOTES TO SECTION ONE

1. The land around Glastonbury is very flat and was until very recently swamp. During the Roman period the sea came up to the 18' contour flooding most of the north Somerset plain. a map of the area is to be found in Appendix III. See Section One p. 8 ff where these points are developed. Radford 1969; and Ashe 1969.

2. The wealth of the town can be seen from an examination of the 1961 Census reports. The following table, which gives the socio-economic groupings of economically active males gives some general indication of the composition of the towns residents:

Socio-Occupation Percentage of economically economic active males group Nationally. Glastonbury:

Occupation                          % Economically active males

                                            National       Glastonbury       

Professional

1 Employers and managers etc.   03.6------04.3

[in large establishments]

2 Employers and managers etc    05.9------09.3

[in small establishments]

3 Professional workers -             00.8------01.9

[self-employed]

4 Professional workers -             02.8------02.5

[employees]

5 Intermediate non-manual          03.8------03.7

[workers]

6 Junior non-manual                   12.5------11.2

7 Personal service                       00.9------00

8 Foremen and supervisors -      03.3------05.6

Manual workers

9 Skilled manual workers            30.4------32.9

10 Semi-skilled manual               14.7------7.5

workers

11 Unskilled manual workers      08.6------06.8

12 Own account workers            03.6------03.1

[none professional]

13 Farmers                                 01.0------00.6

[employers and managers]

14 Farmers                                 01.0------01.2

[self-employed]

15 Agricultural workers               02.3------03.1

16 Members of armed forces      01.9------00.6

17 Unclassified                            02.9------05.6

The "respectable" attitudes of many of the towns citizens can be seen from the letters which appear in the local press. The main local newspaper is The Central Somerset Gazette (CSG), 23.4.71., 7.5.71. and 12.7.71., 30.4.71.

3. See Page 1911 pp. 96 ff; Watkins 1969; Fortune 1934 pp. 64 ff, and p. 106; Tudor-Pole, p. 221 ff; and Burrow, 1966, p. 32.

4. I was given my information about the British Israelites activities in Glastonbury by the present warden of their conference centre Mr. Griffis. They now occupy a house called Mount Avalon which was used during the 1920's as an artistic centre by a group known as the Glastonbury Festival Movement. This movement was organised by a poet Mr. Reginald Buckley, a minor composer, Mr. Rutland Boughton who wrote an Arthurian opera on the model of Wagner's Ring cycle, and Miss Alice Buckton. It gained support from Sir Edward Elgar, George Bernard Shaw, C. K. Chesterton, Charles Williams and C. S. Lewis. See Boughton 1917 and 1922; and Fortune 1934, p. 106.

5. Information about this was given to me by Mr. John Shelley, a potter, who now owns the property which belonged to Dion Fortune. See Appendix IV.

6. Miss Christine Jagar and Miss Hartshorn who now run the Group of Solar Teachers gave me my information on this subject. See Appendix IV.

7. See Strachan 1970, p. 7; and CSG 7.5.71. "Hippies Join Tor Treck".

8. In Appendix IV I give the names and addresses of a number of people who helped me while in Glastonbury, these include some "Spirituals". The belief in the "spiritual" importance of Glastonbury as a New Age center seems to be the only unifying belief among the Spirituals. Only one member of the Spirituals is an actual member of the Theosophical Society although "theosophical" beliefs underlie the thinking of most of them. One Spiritual has been an Anglican nun, another is a Quaker. Their social backgrounds tend to be solidly "middle-class", and they all display a nostalgia for the past. Appendix I contains an extended account of the views of one of this group. Further views are found on pp. a 42 ff in Appendix II. One Spiritual complained to me about the local vicar who had "preached against reincarnation". See Fortune, 1934, p. 10 and pp. 66 ff.

9. The interest in Glastonbury which is found among freaks seems to have originated through an article published in the Christmas edition of the Daily Telegraph Weekend Magazine on December 16th 1966. This article was about Glastonbury and was entitled "Did Christ Visit Britain?" It contained some very romantic photographs and a short account of the local legends. A number of Freaks seem to have read this article. It also seems to have attracted a group of London socialites to the area. These, who included Lord Harlech's daughter and Sir Charles Mark Palmer, arrived in Glastonbury during the summer of 1967. They lived in highly decorated gypsy caravans and claimed to have rejected the materialism of modern society, being true seekers of "spiritual peace".

Following drug charges against some of them in September 1967 their activities were given wide publicity in both the national and "Underground" Press. From 1967 onwards the underground press took an increasing interest in Glastonbury and an increasing number of Freaks arrived there.

Freaks say that strictly speaking the "hippies" were the original "flower children" who appeared in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco during the summer of 1967. They were first called "hippies" by the San Francisco Chronicle journalist Herb Caen. Most Freaks say that they want to be regarded as "people" and not given any particular name, but if they are to be called anything they prefer "Freak" to "hippie". In preferring this title one boy said "You have just to look at me to see that I am a Freak". By which he meant his length of hair and "odd" clothes. See Perry 1970; Hedgepeth 1970, p. 18 f; Mairowitz 1969, pp. 88 ff; The Guardian 20.12.69 "The Hippie Vale of Avalon"; and Appendix II, pp. a30 ff.

10. See CSG 7.5.71. "Drug taking by Hippies"; 18.6.71, "Vigilante Idea Dropped"; 23.4.71. "The Hippie Problem"; The Western Gazette 23.4.71 "Summer Flood of Hippies at Glastonbury: A Warning".

11. See CSG 23.7.71. "What we can teach the Hippies" and Section Three, pp. 33 ff.

12. Most Freaks live a highly mobile existence. Some work all winter and spend the summer going from Pop Festival to Pop Festival, visiting places like Glastonbury between festivals. There is of course also a student element among the Visitors. These are often critical of the Freaks and are only there because they are on a cheap holiday. Notting Hill is an area of London where Freaks muster. See New Society 29.4.71. "The Floating Village".

13. The Glastonbury Fair was organised in Pilton by Andrew Kerr, as a "spiritual" festival which Kerr described as a "fertility rite". This description he understood in terms of his belief in "lay lines" and "lost knowledge", these ideas are explained in Section Two. Appendix II contains a photostat copy of a booklet produced by Kerr and his associates outlining their beliefs and reasons for holding the "Fair", as well as a statement by Kerr on his "ideology". See Appendix II, pp. a48 ff, and Section Two, pp. 22 ff.

14. Among the Freaks there is a sprinkling of much older men, often in their fifties. These seem to be accepted by the group. The women who come to Glastonbury are often 16 and younger. Quite a lot of them appear to be rather stupid in contrast to the men who are fairly intelligent. This observation applies only to the women who come as visitors and not to women among Freaks groups generally. An outline of the Registrar Generals socio-economic scale is found in Note 2. The high incidence of drop-outs from fine art courses seems to support Rookmaaker's (1970) observations about modern art. Similar observations about sex/age distribution are made about the hippies in Haight-Ashbury by Perry (1970). It is interesting to note that more of the Visitors in fact work for their living than the Settlers. But because some Settlers are seen to work in Glastonbury while the Visitors are not seen to work, it is assumed by many of the locals that the Visitors are in fact scroungers while the Settlers are not. See Laurie, 1965, pp. 141 ff; Perry, 1970, pp. 178 ff; Rookmaaker, 1970; CSG letter 11.6.71 and 7.5.71; Section Two, pp. 18 ff.

15. The ex-undergraduate is in fact more critical than the others and has a higher standard of living. One Settler who comes from a wealthy background describes her parents as "turned-on". She gets on well with them as individuals but suffers from the effects of their broken marriage and attempts to organise her life. One girl who professes to be a Hindu takes a typically Hindu attitude to sex by proclaiming the virtue of abstinence and an ascetic life. She says sex is evil because it binds people to the chain of existence. See CSG 19.3.71. "Dawn Raid to Move the Hippies"; 7.5.71 "Uproar Scenes in Court"; 21.5.71 "Hippies State Their Parking Case".

16. The Freaks use the term "scene" to refer to the activities and atmosphere to be found in a place. There have been several police raids on the freaks in Glastonbury and in every case those convicted of possessing drugs were visitors. IT (International Times) and other underground papers like Friends have carried an increasing number of articles on meditation and mythology reflecting the changing interests of freaks. See McGarath/Scarpitte, 1970, p. 183 and p. 144; Leary 1970, chapter 12; Western Daily Press 25.6.71, "All God's Children"; CSG 21.5.71 and 11.6.71 "Two Cleared After Hippy Camp Raid", 27.8.71; Mairowitz, 1969; and Gandalf's Garden, 106.

17. These are all well known tourist attractions. Many locals feel that the presence of Freaks will drive away the tourists. The significance of these places is explained below in the text of Section One. See CSG 23.4.71. Letters.

18. See Page 1911 pp. 82 ff; Watkins 1969; Ashe 1969 chapter 5; and Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society, (Proceedings) 1908-1922 and 1926.

19. Proceedings, 1913, p. 26. Bond 1918 and 1925.

20. Freaks often told me how they would go into the local library to read about Bond and to read his writings. Among the freaks in Glastonbury a number of Bond's lesser writings are in circulation. Details about Bond's psychic interests can be found in "The Quest at Glastonbury" by G. W. Lambert The Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, June 1966, Vol. 43, No. 728. A new biography of Bond has been written by W. W. Kenawell: The Quest at Glastonbury, Garrett Publications, New York, 1965. I was unable to obtain a copy of this. The Proceedings give no indication of why the work on Glastonbury abbey under Bond's direction was suspended in 1922. When I wrote to the Bishop of Bath and Wells to get some information about this I received a very uncommunicative reply from the Archdeacon of Wells the Venerable J. Du B. Lance, who told me that the Trustees would be reluctant to let me look at their records because they would not want to "rake up an old dead squabble". Letter dated 12.9.71.

21. Hardcastle, 1965, pp. 1 ff. Fortune, 1934, p. 9 f.

22. Hardcastle, 1965, pp. 4 ff. Treharne, 1967, pp. 90 ff.

23. Information on this subject was given to me by Miss K. Pollitt a former warden of the Well. See Tudor-Pole, 1960, pp. 221 ff. and 1965, pp. 22 ff.

24. Freaks often told me about "The Upper Room" which they seem to regard as evidence that Christ is going to return to Glastonbury. I talked to the present warden of the well Mr. J. Simmons and found him generally unhelpful. He implied that he had esoteric knowledge, which was to be imparted only to the initiated, and showed a great dislike of the freaks. See CSG 21.8.70. Letters, Tudor-Pole, 1968, The Messenger of Chalice Well.

25. See Ashe, 1968, p. 142 f. and p. 153; Radford, 1969; RILKO, 1969, pp. 16 ff.

26. Entrance to the tower is gained by climbing through an old iron railing which runs around it. I know of no case of theft from things left in the tower. The high winds at the top of the hill explain why freaks prefer to sleep lower down its slopes. See Burrow, 1966, p. 28 f; Radford, 1969, p. 4; Fortune, 1934, pp. 57 ff; CSG 6.8.71. "Petition to Minister from Glastonbury", 13.8.71, "Glastonbury people are nice".

27. See Treharne 1967, pp. 5 ff., pp. 57 ff and pp. 99 ff; Fortune 1934, Elder, 1965.

28. See Maltwood, 1964, (first published in 1929); Williams, 1969; The Guardian, 25.1.66, "Temple of the Stars"; and Gandalf's Garden, 4th March, 1969.


Go to: SECTION TWO