Tuesday, August 31


" What is now known as Glastonbury was, in ancient times, called the Isle of Avalon. It is virtually an island, for it is completely surrounded by marshlands. In Welsh it is called 'Ynys Afallach', which means the Island of Apples and this fruit once grew in great abundance. After the Battle of Camlann, a noblewoman called Morgan, later the ruler and patroness of these parts as well as being a close blood-relation of King Arthur, carried him off to the island, now known as Glastonbury, so that his wounds could be cared for. Years ago the district had also been called 'Ynys Gutrin' in Welsh, that is the Island of Glass, and from these words the invading Saxons later coined the place-name 'Glastingebury" - Gerald of Wales

In 1186 the monastery was destroyed by a fire and during the reconstruction monks from the abbey claimed to have found the graves of Arthur and Guinevere in 1191. Some say this was a hoax to draw Pilgrims to the abbey and therefore boost funds coming into the abbey for the reconstruction. Glastonbury is also rumored to have been the site that Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Grail to after the death of Christ.

"Site of King Arthur's Tomb.
In the year 1191, the bodies of
King Arthur and his Queen were
said to have been found on the
south side of the Lady Chapel.
On 19th April 1278 their remains were
removed in the presence of
King Edward I and Queen Eleanor
to a black marble tomb of this site.
This tomb survived until the
dissolution of the abbey in 1539"
Just down the Road from the abbey you will find Glastonbury Tor and the Chalice Well Gardens. Glastonbury Tor is mentioned in an early Welsh poem discussing the confrontation of Arthur and Melwas. At the bottom of the hill leading up to the tor you will find a beautiful garden surrounding the Chalice Well. The Chalice Well is the site where King Arthur was brought after the final battle, the Battle of Camlynn, to heal his wounds. The well is supposedly the location that the Holy Grail was brought to by Joseph of Arimathea, giving the well its mystical healing properties and red tint to the water.
The website for Glastonbury is www.glastonbury.co.uk/pages/ .

Monday, August 30

Maughan Library, Kings College

The Maughan Library, founded in 1929 and named after Sir Deryck Maughan, is the only Kings College library located north of the river Thames. Originally located in four separate buildings, the library came together as one in the 1990’s when the new building became available; the former Public Record Office, designed by Sir James Pennethorne, located in the heart of the London legal district built in 1851. The building was leased for an extended period of time but with many restrictions due to the structure being on Royal land. This new building brought the four libraries, each with its own disciplines, together into one large library and was opened in 2001.

The library houses over 750,000 volumes, 1000 reader stations and 330 computer seats. Altogether, the library assists over 20,000 students, King's College wide, including the 11,000 students of the Strand campus. The library is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day during exams and is developing more social meeting areas and possible flexible teaching areas. This summer the library is adding self service throughout the library and is looking into a roving service.

In the special collections department, there are many rare items from 15th century to the present. This collection includes:

The photo to the right is from: Charles Estienne. La dissection des parties du corps humain. Paris: Simon de Colines, 1546 [St. Thomas's Historical Collection FOL. QM21.E87] as found in Foyle Special Collections Library The year in review 2008-9.

To the right is the title page and endpaper from La Sacra Bibla, Scoui: Jacob Dorta, 1679 [Marsden Collection Add. G6] as found in
Foyle Special Collections Library The year in review 2007-08.

Visit the Mauhan library at www.kcl.ac.uk/iss/visitors/library/maughan.html.