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Glastonbury

43 42 spRINGs AND hOLy weLLs an island of many waters one of the legends of Glastonbury is that Joseph of Arimathea buried the Holy Grail under chalice Hill, causing the Red, or Blood, spring to flow out of the hill. the water runs through the Grail and is stained red by the blood of christ, which Joseph caught in the chalice when christ was nailed to the cross. this spring, or well, is in the chalice Well Gardens off chilkwell street, the street name being a corruption of chalice well . However, this chalice might equally be a corruption of chalybeate which is the term used for such reddishbrown spring water rich in iron. Another version is that the Red spring of the chalice Well and the White spring, which flows from under the tor, come from the two flasks, one bearing christ s blood and the other his sweat, which st Joseph brought to Glastonbury. this rather conflicts with the general belief that Joseph was buried, together with the two flasks, in the grounds of the Abbey just south of the Mary chapel. In the crypt here, called the Joseph chapel, is a further holy well, st Joseph s Well, which was clearly a place of importance to pilgrims in the early days of the Abbey. the White spring once flowed from the foot of the tor into the small valley beside the chalice well. Its well was destroyed when a reservoir building to catch its waters replaced it in 1872. A number of other abandoned springs and ruined holy wells surround Glastonbury. st edmund s spring is now a modern goldfish pond, Paradise Well, near the Gog Magog oaks, is a sealed brick trough. Above left A holy well in Glastonbury. Above right A view of the entrace into the pentagonal chamber within the Chalice Well. Below St Joseph s Well in the crypt of the Mary Chapel. The crypt was dedicated to St Joseph of Arimathea in about 1500.
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