Glastonbury Abbey: Archaeology, Legend and Public Engagement

Christianity and Culture is working with the University of Reading and Glastonbury Abbey on an AHRC-funded project ‘Archaeology, Legend and Public Engagement’ (University of Reading).

Reputedly built on the site of the earliest Christian church in Britain, and believed to be the burial place of the legendary King Arthur, Glastonbury Abbey’s rich heritage draws tourists and pilgrims alike, receiving approximately 100,000 visitors per year.

The original AHRC-funded project, led by Professor Roberta Gilchrist of the University of Reading, aimed to publish new evidence of the scale of the Anglo-Saxon monastery based on a series of archaeological excavations that took place at the Abbey over the twentieth century. This ongoing follow-on project will reveal this research to the wider public though digital reconstructions, developed by the technical and research team at Christianity and Culture, see example above.

An interactive map and the opportunity to explore the recreations will be in-situ at the Abbey’s museum this autumn, with new education resources providing links to the National Curriculum. The project specifically aims to engage the interest and support the education of younger visitors, developing new resources that map on to the curricula for Key Stages 1, 2 and 3, and by using innovative technology to capture the imaginations of young visitors. The image will also be shown at Glastonbury Festival 2016 with festival-goers asked “Will you visit the Abbey to see the new digital reconstructions?” An online survey is also available at: