Sites & cities that bear the name of Glastonbury


Today in : United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
First trace of activity : ca. 7th century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Ynys Witrin, Ineswitrin, Glestingaburg

Description : Glastonbury (/ˈɡlæstənb(ə)ri/) is a town and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated at a dry point on the low-lying Somerset Levels, 23 miles (37 km) south of Bristol. The town, which is in the Mendip district, had a population of 8,932 in the 2011 census. Glastonbury is less than 1 mile (2 km) across the River Brue from Street, which is now larger than Glastonbury. The origin of the name Glastonbury is unclear but when the settlement is first recorded in the 7th and the early 8th century, it was called Glestingaburg. The burg element is Anglo-Saxon and could refer either to a fortified place such as a burh or, more likely, a monastic enclosure; however the Glestinga element is obscure, and may derive from an Old English word or from a Saxon or Celtic personal name. It may derive from a person or kindred group named Glast. The name however is likely related to an Irish individual named Glas mac Caise 'Glas son of Cas'. Glas is an ancient Irish personal name meaning 'green, grey/green'. It is stated in the Life of St Patrick that he resurrected a swineherder by that name and he went to Glastonbury, to an area of the village known as 'Glastonbury of the Irish' and this could well be referring to the area of Beckery (Little Ireland) where it is believed an Irish Colony established itself in the 10th century and was thus nicknamed 'Little Ireland'. This area was known to the Irish as Glastimbir na n-Gaoidhil 'Glastonbury of the Gaels'. (The Archaeology and History of Glastonbury Abbey - Courteney Arthur Ralegh Radford). This is the earliest source for the name Glastonbury. The modern Irish form for Glastonbury is Glaistimbir.

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