Category Archives: travelogues

The explorations and adventures of our Technogypsie team. The majority of travel tales have been compiled into a story book and diary at www.technogypsie.com/chronicles.

Zombieland, Pennsylvania

Zombieland

Hillsville, Pennsylvania

Along the border of Ohio and Pennsylvania, in Lawrence County, just north of the small Italian immigrant populated village of Hillsville is a unsettling quiet and eerie region locals call “Zombie Land”. Mainly “urban legend” than actual historic folklore are tales of the macabre, mystical beasts, deaths, and grisly murder. There is definitely a feeling of “odd” and “something not right” when entering this several mile strip of heavily wooded spots meeting farming, transportation, and industrial works along Lawler Ford Road a.k.a. “Zombie Road” or Route 224.

The Virgin Mary:

It begins around the old St. Lawrence Catholic Church which has long been converted to a private residence and its accompanying graveyard along route 224. There is a alcove with a statue of the Virgin Mary who has a creepy air about herself. Legend has it, she will greet visitors with open arms when it is safe to enter Zombie Land, and have praying hands when it is not. In the 1990’s it was reportedly vandalized and a plexiglass (or glass) window was installed to protect the statue.

St. Lawrence Church and Graveyard:

Some say the gravestones behind this church glow at night. Others say it is at the Presbyterian graveyard down the road. We’ve been to both, and outside of solar-powered grave lights, there is no glow. Others say it is a historic stone in the older part of the graveyard behind the old Church (St. Lawrence) that has a particular shine that reflects off the full moon or light from the house (old church). We unfortunately during our night visit did not see that section, although we did explore the two graveyards – seeing no glow, but experiencing the eerie ambiance.

The Hilltown Bridge:

Just down the road from the St. Lawrence Graveyard north is the Hilltown Bridge. The original Bridge in March 1913 was swept away and has since been replaced by a new concrete monster. It was torn down again in 2007 and replaced with a modern concrete span. It is from this bridge that reports of unexplained lights moving around it and underneath, like the Will o’ Wisp has been reported. Also some say one can hear screams and gun shots from the bridge at night. It has also been reported to be a “crying bridge” with sounds of a crying baby underneath, with the urban lore that a mother tossed her child over the edge. It has reports of suicides being conducted from its rails.

The Killing Fields or “Murder Swamp”:

Just north of the Hilltown Bridge are the “Killing Fields” where at night many report hearing screams and gunshots. In the woods bordering the railway some say there are “ghost whistles” to be heard late at night. If one parks near the rails, strange things will happen to the car. It is also reputedly where a serial killer dumped more than a dozen bodies with decapitated heads in Zombie Land. From 1921-1942, between Mahoningtown and New Castle, over 15 bodies were found in the swamp and may have been the same serial killer who conducted decapitations in Cleveland around the same time. There are many stories of the Italian Immigrants who settled in the area also killing many farmers, authorities, and residents leaving them in the Killing Fields to decay. It was in 1907 when several Italian men in Hillsville, believed to be associated with the Italian mafia/mob who proclaimed that “No person in the Hillsville district, either Italian or American, will give the slightest assistence to any officer desiring the prosecution of Italian offenders.” and it was then that a Hillsville farmer allowed an officer named Sealy Houk to use his phone to effect an arrest of an Italian found to have killed his cow. It is believed that the officer was killed and dumped in the “Killing fields” of the region, discovered by a train passing by. Three days after Houk’s body was discovered, three Italian mob men went into the fields killing and pouching animals, aggrivating and attacking (murdering at least one – William Duff) farmers who tried to stand in their way.

The Mines:

There are said to be various mines in the area used by the mafia from Youngstown to dispose of bodies. While travelling through area, we only saw signs for “Limestone” mines.

Skyhill Road Bridge:
(aka Frankenstein Bridge, Hookman’s Bridge, Ghost Bridge, Graffiti Bridge)
A few more miles down into Zombie land on Skyhill Road is a small bridge that was built in 1917 crossing off the Coffee Run River. It also has been replaced in 2013 changing the eerie attraction. It became to be believed to be haunted by the “Bridge People” and the “Hook Man”. Apparently they were mutated zombie-like people who lived nearby that were bothered by people hanging around the bridge so would hunt them down to maim or kill them. It is believed that if one writes someone’s name on the bridge, the “Bridge People” or “The Hookman” would go murder them. The bridge is covered with peoples names and symbols. The Original bridge had wood railings where the graffiti would be, but now a metal railing, the graffiti is on the asphault itself. Oddly, underneath the bridge are lover’s dedications and love notes scrawled on the walls. The Hate is above, the Love below. We also saw the corpse of a dead deer lying halfway on the ground and in the water, half-wrapped in a garbage bag like an offering to the Bridge people. Someone else writing about the Bridge also stated there was a dead deer but that was back in 2016, so a different dead deer. It is said a young boy leaped from the bridge killing himself as a suicide.

The Zombie Torch:

Right around the corner from the bridge west is the Eternal Flame dedicated to the Zombies that haunt the woods. The mutant colored metal pipe protruding from the ground is just a stone’s torch from the road – it is a iron pipe venting fumes from the natural gas field below. If one lights the torch it will anger the Bridge People and the Hook Man, summoning them to cause death unto the one who lit it.

The Blood House, Bridge People, Hook Man:

Deep in the woods near the bridge and torch is the purported home of the Bridge People and/or Hook Man. It is said also to have been the home of a wicked witch named “Mary Black” who snatched and murdered children of the area, buring them in the fields. It has long been burnt down and demolished by authorities and no longer exists. Others state that the Blood House is located off of Erskin Quarry Road and had a small graveyard attached to it. Some say the Witch was a woman who went crazy and hung her children. Others say it all happened when some mental patients escaped and settled in the area. Others say the “Bridge People” were mutant-like residents of the woods who suffered from “hydrocephalus” or “water on the brain” that settled in the area along the Mahoning River to avoid being harassed for their deformities. They were also nicknamed the “Light Bulb Heads”. A escaped mental patient nicknamed “Zombie” who was a serial killer supposedly lived in the woods along this road. Some claim that his bloodied hospital gown was once found on the road and murdered local kids. Other paranormal investigators call the “Bridge People” as the infamous legendary “Shadow People” of lore. There is some belief that the “Hook Man” came from the Killing of Seely Houk written about above.

The Railroad Bridge:

Along Coffee Run, at Robinson’s Crossing, just north of the Manoning River, within Zombie Land, not too far from all the haunted locations is a Railway Bridge still in use by CSX trains was the scene of a grisley rape and murder of a 12 year old girl named Shannon Leigh Kos. Her boyfriend and two other 20 year old boys brought her there, raped her, and stabbed her to death. They attempted to burn her body, but her remains were found by the bridge three days later. The sick criminals – William George Monday (21), David Christopher Garvey (20), and Perry Sam Ricciardi II (20) were arrested and convicted. There are purported rumors that Robinson’s Crossing was once a popular “lover’s lane” but police reported many arguments and spats, domestic violence calls, etc. were popular there as well as abandoned dates they had to come to escort home. Rumors of suicides at this spot as well as the other bridges are also common.

The Glowing Green Man:
There are legends of a green man who had been burned in an industrial accident that lived in the area. Others say he was a local handyman who was electricuted and had a light green glow to his skin. According to Jim Mosley, the Green Man not only existed but was someone whom he had met on occasion through his wanderings in Zombie Land and spent many evenings drinking with him at the local pub. His real name was Raymond Robinson.

A zombie land facebook fan page exists here: https://www.facebook.com/ZombieLandHillsvillePA/ and t-shirts are sold at a local beverage shop.

Recommended Reading/Bibliography:

  • Associated Press 2000 “Accused told police of Killing”. The Associated Press. Website referenced on 11/12/18 at http://www2.sharonherald.com/localnews/recentnews/0011/ln111600f.html
  • Lawrence County Memoirs n.d. “Zombie Land – Hillsville PA” website referenced 11/12/18 at http://www.lawrencecountymemoirs.com/lcmpages/1073/zombieland-hillsville-pa
  • Reddit 2016 “Gruesome Murder of a Girl I Knew NSFW” by u/nebbles1069. Website referenced 11/12/18 at https://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/462b6r/gruesome_murder_of_a_girl_i_knew_nsfw/
  • Penn Live e2016 “From Hell’s Hollow to Zombie Land: 13 western PA places with haunting legends. Website referenced 11/12/18 at https://www.pennlive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2016/10/haunted_western_pennsylvania.html
  • Summers, Ken 2011 “The STrange History Behind America’s Creepiest Zombie Road Legends … and How You Can find them”. Website referenced 11/12/18 at http://weekinweird.com/2011/09/26/home-zombie-roads/
  • Tinsley, M. Ferguson 2000 “This time, Zombie Land tale is true”. Post-Gazette Staff. Website referenced 11/12/18 at http://old.post-gazette.com/regionstate/20001031zombie1.asp
  • Torisk, Emmalee C. 2013 “Urban legends haunt Zombieland” : Vindy.com. Website referenced 11/12/18 at http://www.vindy.com/news/2013/oct/29/urban-legends-haunt-zombieland/
  • Warren, Louis S. unknown “The Hunters Game: Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth Century America”. Website referenced 11/12/18 at https://books.google.com/books?id=OfeB1wAdQHwC&pg=PA30&lpg=PA30&dq=killing+fields+hillsville&source=bl&ots=GdJ2Dgjuqh&sig=A0EsgLm8cPefd44V8l6owSsq0IQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiZocuBqtDeAhUp11kKHYObBIsQ6AEwFXoECAsQAQ#v=onepage&q=killing%20fields%20hillsville&f=false

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Mazatlan Family Mexican Restaurant

Matzatlan Family Mexican Restaurant
~ 828 NE Hwy 101, Lincoln City, Oregon 97361 * 541-996-6090 * http://www.mazatlan.rest/ ~

A great family restaurant located off of Highway 101 – family run, family owned for over 25 years with a tradition of recipes and delights. We enjoyed our visit and myself the Chimichanga and enchiladas were great. I can’t remember if they had Sopapillas, as there was somewhere along the Oregon Coast I had the most delightful. Good times.

Rated: 4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

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Lincoln City, Oregon

Lincoln City, Oregon

A bustling little city along the Oregon Coast and Highway 101 in Lincoln County, Oregon between Tillamook and Newport. Lincoln City had a population of around 8,500 in 2016. This area was originally homeland of the Siletz Tribe. The city is named after the county which is named after President Lincoln, though named by a contest from local school children. The city was in incorporated March 1965 as a means to unite the coastal towns of Delake, Ocean Lake, and Taft as well as the communities of Nelscott and Cutler City. The main industries in the area is retirement and tourism. The Siletz casino was founded in 1995 bringing in more tourism. The Salishan Spa and Golf Resort offers dining, shopping, cabins, lodges, and a five star golf course. Lincoln City hosts two annual kite festivals in June and October giving the city the nickname of “Kite Capital of the World. There is also the Siletz Bay Music Festival held here in Late June and early July.

Lodging:

Rated: 4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Lincoln City, Oregon. Oregon Coastline 2013: Oregon Coast, Oregon, USA. Friday, August 3, 2013. (c) 2013: Photo by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions. More information, copy of photo, to purchase, or to obtain permission to reprint visit http://www.technogypsie.com/photography/. To follow the adventures, go to http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/ or travel tales http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/

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Super 8

Super 8 Motels
~ Worldwide ~

I’ve spent many nights at the Super 8 – some locations are amazing, others can be seedy. It depends on the city and the manager, neighborhood, and environment. They are one of the world’s largest budget hotel chains – with motels throughout the United States, Canada, and China. They are part of the Wyndham Worldwide chain. The chain was started by Dennis Brown in 1972 alongside his partner Ron Rivett in 1973. They started renting rooms for $8.88/night which gave name to “Super 8”. The first motel was in Aberdeen South Dakota, hosting 60 rooms in 1974. It had a stucco exterior with an English Tudor style inspired by Rivett’s father-in-law who did stucco construction for a living, the remaining architecture was created by Rivett. Through the years they kept the English Tudor style as well as locating themselves near Holiday Inn’s as a marketing strategy. The first franchise was sold in 1976 in Gillette, Wyoming. They broke out of the Midwest in 1978 opening up in New York and Washington State. In 1976 they created a VIP club program which was later purchased by Hospitality Franchise Systems, then Cendant in 1993. This was dissolved in 2003 and replaced by TripRewards converting to Wyndham Rewards in 2008. By 2014 they had over 2,390 hotels. They opened their first hotel in China during 2004 in Beijing. They offer their guests standard amenities including free WiFi, a continental breakfast, hair dryers, coffee makers, laundry, and a lobby. Some locations have pools and meeting rooms, while some of the larger Super 8’s have restaurants.

Locations I’ve visited:

  • Lincoln City, Oregon: 3517 N, US-101, Lincoln City, OR 97367; (541) 996-9900. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. This location has a fabulous tourism placement across from a public beach. Its a rather small building and hotel with few rooms. Its less than a mile from the Chinook Winds casino. They have mini-fridges and microwaves in the room, coin laundry, free coffee, truck parking, and a small conference room. Its located along Highway 101.

Rated: 4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

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Depoe Bay, Oregon

Depoe Bay, Oregon
~ World’s smallest Harbor ~

A small little harbour village in Lincoln County Oregon along U.S. Route 101. The village possesses amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. It had a population of around 1400 residents in 2010. The village is approximately 6 acres in size. It is well known as the “World’s smallest navigable harbor”. Depoe Bay was named after “Charley Depot”, a Siletz Indian who originally allotted the land in 1894 under the Dawes Act of 1887. He worked a military depot near Toledo Oregon and became well known in the area. The film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” filmed their fishing trip sequence here in 1975 as well as restaurant scenes from the “Burning Plain” in 2008. The port was damaged by a tsunami during the Tohoku earthquake off Japan on March 11, 2011.

Rated: 4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Depot Bay, Oregon. Oregon Coastline 2013: Oregon Coast, Oregon, USA. Friday, August 3, 2013. (c) 2013: Photo by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions. More information, copy of photo, to purchase, or to obtain permission to reprint visit http://www.technogypsie.com/photography/. To follow the adventures, go to http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/ or travel tales http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/

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Yaquina Head National Park, Newport, Oregon

"Yaquina Head's light is 81'2" (25 m) above the ground and 162' (49 m) above mean sea level;
“Yaquina Head’s light is 81’2” (25 m) above the ground and 162′ (49 m) above mean sea level; the top of the tower is 10′ (3 m) higher still.

Yaquina Head
Newport, Oregon

One of my favorite highlights of Newport, this great area of Natural Beauty is preserved by the Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Landscape Conservation System/Lands and a tourist hotspot on the Oregon Coast. Yaquina Head is a headland that extends into the Pacific Ocean with a pristine historic Light House at its head known as the Yaquina Head Light. The protected area is just north of Newport along U.S. Route 101. Consisting of 95 acres, it has been preserved since 1980. The head stands at 108 feet above sea level.

The area depicts a violent volcanic past with basalts that changed the coastline during volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. It is home to 5 hiking trails, all of which are less than a half mile in length paralleling the ocean or through the forest lines. It is a popular place for sightseeing, whale watching, bird watching, history, and the light house.

"Creating Cobbles; Cobbles, pebbles and sand are the result of boiling lava meeting the cold ocean, followed by 14 millin years of weather and erosion.  Fragments of ancient lava - hot basalt exploded upon contact with cold sea water and intermixed with quickly chilled volcanic glass to form a breccia. The cobbles on this beach are weathered remains of these exploded fragments. Sea water alters the glass surrounding the basalt fragments into a mineral called palagonite which is easily washed away. The water then attacks the fragment causing its corners to become more and more rounded. The cobbles are further rounded and made smaller by beach wave action. In the summer there is some sand on these beaches, but winter waves wash most of the sand out to sea leaving almost all cobbles on the beach. Between the tides: Tidal forces shape the shoreline and bring life to the intertidal area. Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon. Here and elsewhere in the coastal Pacific Northwest there are almost always two high and two low tides daily. The pull of the moon and sun causes the oceans to bulge and the earth rotates under them. These bulges come and go as high tides. The tides would be easy to predict if they occurred exactly every six hours. However because the tides follow a cycle that is slightly more than six hours long, the whole sequence is repeated later each day. Mean (average) lowest low tide is used as the base level for most coastal charts and tide tables. When ships enter or leave harbor, the depth of water at mean low tide is more important to them than mean sea level." ~ information sign at Yaquina Head National Park, Newport, Oregon. Yaquina Head National Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25775). 1/27/16: Chronicles 23: Delving the Oregon Coast and Willamette Valley:  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=19727 -   Photos from  February 2016 . (c) 2016 - photo by Photographers Thomas Baurley  / Leaf McGowan
“Creating Cobbles; Cobbles, pebbles and sand are the result of boiling lava meeting the cold ocean, followed by 14 million years of weather and erosion. Fragments of ancient lava – hot basalt exploded upon contact with cold sea water and intermixed with quickly chilled volcanic glass to form a breccia. The cobbles on this beach are weathered remains of these exploded fragments. Sea water alters the glass surrounding the basalt fragments into a mineral called palagonite which is easily washed away. The water then attacks the fragment causing its corners to become more and more rounded. The cobbles are further rounded and made smaller by beach wave action. In the summer there is some sand on these beaches, but winter waves wash most of the sand out to sea leaving almost all cobbles on the beach. Between the tides: Tidal forces shape the shoreline and bring life to the intertidal area. Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon. Here and elsewhere in the coastal Pacific Northwest there are almost always two high and two low tides daily. The pull of the moon and sun causes the oceans to bulge and the earth rotates under them. These bulges come and go as high tides. The tides would be easy to predict if they occurred exactly every six hours. However because the tides follow a cycle that is slightly more than six hours long, the whole sequence is repeated later each day. Mean (average) lowest low tide is used as the base level for most coastal charts and tide tables. When ships enter or leave harbor, the depth of water at mean low tide is more important to them than mean sea level.” ~ information sign at Yaquina Head National Park, Newport, Oregon. Yaquina Head National Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25775). 1/27/16: Chronicles 23: Delving the Oregon Coast and Willamette Valley: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=19727 – Photos from February 2016 . (c) 2016 – photo by Photographers Thomas Baurley / Leaf McGowan

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Blodgett, Oregon

Blodgett, Oregon
~

Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

The small village of Blodgett, Oregon is home to roughly 56 inhabitants. We rented a large farm called Vegantopia while living there. The village only pretty much has a elementary school, a country store, and bare services as it is located next to nowhere. It is a census-designated place and unincorporated community of Benton County Oregon (though on the border of Lincoln county). It is centered where Oregon route 180 meets U.S. Route 20 in the Central Oregon Coast Range 15 miles west of Corvallis. It is close to the confluence of Marys River and the Tumtum river.

The village was named after William Blodgett, a pioneer who settled here in April 1888 with the name of “Emrick” after a local family, then the post office changed the name to Blodgett shortly after under zip code 97326. Under the Philomath School district, there is a small 38 student Blodgett Elementary School covering kindergarten through fourth grade. The region experiences warm and dry summers with an average monthly temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

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Vegantopia

Vegantopia
~ Blodgett, Oregon

Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

I really wish I had taken detailed notes on the history of Vegantopia. I just assumed when I was ready to write this article I could pick the brains of the founder and creator of Vegantopia later. But we all know how that goes. I believe he purchased the land and built the house in the 80’s or 90’s. There may have been remnant creations or foundations earlier as he did tell tales of certain musicians contributing wood to the stage down below. The house itself was a one-two bedroom downstairs (if you count the terrarium he has a bedroom setup in) with its own bathroom and kitchen. Then the two door garage in an industrial sized warehouse converted barn that could host two large diesel trucks, but currently empty with a fashion walkway and a performance stage, and a food trailer which housed the kitchen of the ranch’s name “Vegantopia”.

Upstairs is a three bedroom house with kitchen, living room, dining room area, three rooms (we used one for our son’s room, the other an office, and the final a master bedroom), a bathroom with a claw-foot iron tub. Fireplace, deck, and two stairwells – one to the deck, the other from the garage. The side of the house hosted an awned storage bay with stacks of firewood for the winter. An organic garden, a gypsy wagon/vardo for a guesthouse with its own sink, bed/loft, table, chairs, and stove. Solar panels to power up the house and a disintegrating hut that was once a workshop. A creek running through the property with a foot bridge over it, an apple orchard, hiking trails, and a faerie ritual circle up in the woods. It was a magical place. I don’t remember if it was 8 or 16 acres of land.

Vegantopia was the name given to the place by its founder Markey Stuart. Markey created a tempeh kitchen where here he concocted his magical creations of a variety of tempeh that was sold to grocery stories ranging from Ashland, Oregon to Portland with most of the sales in Corvallis and Eugene.

There is little on the web about him or Vegantopia. You can find mention of his infamous Tempeh and soymilk he produced in issues of FA times, vol 32, issues 1 and 4.

They referred to Mark Stuart as a long tie Co-op owner and mastermind behind Vegantopia. He sold his local 6 soymilk made from organic soybeans that they described as impeccably pristine clean food as a basic wholesome soymilk packaged in reusable glass canning jars. We had the pleasure of being gifted it there while we co-habitated the land. We rented the top house and the vardo while Markey lived in the smaller unit down below.

The Vegantopia Tempeh was the most famous creation of the kitchen – fresh, tender, nutritious cakes made of soybeans, garbanzo beans, or quinoa fermented with extra high mycelia content from organic ingredients and packaged in cellophane instead of plastic. Eaten raw or cooked its a favorite of all local vegetarians and vegans.

As Mark Stuart was selling off his empire, we had plans to purchase the land and home from him, including the tempeh trailer but we were unable to come up with the funds by the time he was ready to move on (which was rather quickly) so it was sold to another amazing family that was a perfect fit for the land and home.

An amazing secret magical paradise. Vegantopia has woven its own web.

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Lammas Celebration and tree planting ceremony over Cian’s umbilical cord, Oregon, USA. Planting of lavender, and underneath a baby persimmons tree. Thursday, August 1, 2013. (c) 2013: Photo by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley. More information, copy of photo, to purchase, or to obtain permission to reprint visit http://www.technogypsie.com/photography/. To follow the adventures, go to http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/ or travel tales http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/. This blog, see http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=41999.

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Disney California Adventure

Disney’s California Adventure
https://disneyland.disney.go.com/destinations/disney-california-adventure/

The Americanized cartoon-famed Adventure Park by Disney is one of my more recent Theme Park tromping grounds I’ve had the pleasure to go to thanks to my brother being Technical Director at Disney and him being able to guest in family and friends. This is a favorite of my son Prince Cian as well. One of my more favorite sections is “It’s a Bug’s Life” where one can imagine themselves shrunken to insect-size walking around the blades of grass based around Disney Pixar’s Film of the same name. The Ant island is pretty cool as well in the Bug’s Life Theater. The Jumpin Jellyfish lets you sour into the sky above Paradise Bay on a jellyfish on a parachute-style ride. The the all time favorite Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure has a music filled adventure in her underwater world. Exploring the land of “Cars” was my son’s favorite where he could race in a race-car through canyonlands and meet Lightning McQueen and Tater the tow truck. Good fun different than Disney across the lot.

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Family time at Disney’s California Adventure ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=30907), Los Angeles, California. “A California Adventure” – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken April 8, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Family time at Disney’s California Adventure ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=30907), Los Angeles, California. “A California Adventure” – New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken April 8, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Fairmount Park – Riverside, California

Fairmount Park
~ 2601 Fairmount Boulevard, Riverside, California * https://riversideca.gov/park_rec/facilities-parks ~

This stunning park was just right around the corner from our duplex in the heart of Riverside, California. Therefore it was a favorite place of ours to walk to and let our little Prince play at the playground and around the lakes. Fairmount Park was also listed as on the the American Planning Association’s top rated places in America. It is located south of the Santa Ana River and Route 60. Known as a “Frontline Park” since 2011, it was designed by Olmsted and Olsted in 1911 involving the creation of Lake Evans in 1924. After incidents of severe crimes took place in the area, damages by floods and deterioration of Lake Evans the Park was rehabilitated and revitalized in 2001, including the addition of a playground costing over 2.5 million dollars to build. The park has 2 tennis courts, a golf course, public barbecues, boat rentals, sailing, fishing, running, jogging, and walking trails along the Santa Ana River Trail. Summer concert series take place each year.

Rated: 3.8 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Fairmount Park – Riverside, California. Investigating the Inland Empire – Life in Riverside, California: Chronicle 10 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Photos taken August 02, 2015. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=15559. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions. All rights reserved.

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John Day

John Day

One of the famous pioneers of Oregon is a man named John Day. He was a trapper who came to Oregon with a large group and fell into a smaller group heading West while travelling along the Columbia River. He was born in Culpepper County Virginia. He travelled West through Kentucky to the Spanish Upper Louisiana which is now Missouri by the year 1797. By 1810 he joined the Pacific Fur Company as a trapper becoming part of their overland expedition West under lead of Wilson Price Hunt. They travelled from Missouri to Fort Astoria along the mouth of the Columbia River in 1811-1812. While in company of Ramsay Crooks, they were robbed and stripped naked by Indians along the Columbia River at the Mouth of the confluence. The infamous robbery gave the area to be named after him. In 1812 he was assigned to accompany Robert Stuart back East to St. Louis but was left on the Lower Columbia River where he went mad. He returned to Fort Astoria and spent the remaining 8 years hunting and trapping in the Willamette Valley. He died in 1820 at the winter camp of Donald MacKenzie’s Snake Country Expedition into the Little Lost River valley of today’s Butte County, Idaho. The John Day River is named after him and his history follows the four branches of the river in eastern Oregon. The cities of Dayville and John Day are also named after him, as well as the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

John Day Fossil Beds site – clarno unit info board: “Who was John Day? John Day came to oregon in 1812 as part of an overland expedition to the new pacific fur company post in astoria. The once large party split up and into many small groups before reaching the Oregon territory. While camped where the mouth of the mah-hah river meets the Columbia, John Day and Ramsay Crooks were robbed of all their belongings, including clothing. Luckily they were rescued by a party of trapper also headed to Astoria. John Day became well known at the trading post. Whenever others would pass the spot of the incident, they would point out where he had been robbed. Thus the mah-hah river became known as the John Day river. John Day never came here. It was Thomas Condon who named this area the John Day fossil Beds because of the river’s role as a landmark and its importance in eroding and exposing fossil bearing rock layers. “The Pallisades (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=27413) – Clarno Unit – John Day Fossil National Monument (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=27401). Volcanic Legacy: Chronicle 25 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Oregon. Photos taken August 2, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21521. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

~ Article by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Journey through Time Scenic Byway (Oregon)

Journey Through Time Scenic Byway – Oregon
~ Oregon ~

This scenic route goes through parts of the state of Oregon spanning five counties and passing through Dayville, Mount Vernon, John Day, and Prairie City. It consists of Oregon Routes 7, 19, 26, 218 and U.S. Route 97 following much of the John Day River. Its purpose is to take tourists and drivers along the pioneer history of Oregon focusing on geology and paleontological history. It is 286 miles in length. You can start from Biggs along U.S. 97 through Shaniko to Antelope, then east on Oregon 218 to Fossil. Rest stop in John Day Fossil Beds National Monument then take it along Oregon 19 towards Kimberly, then east on U.S. 26 to Dayville, then through Mount Vernon, John Day, and Prairie City onwards east along Oregon 7 to Baker City. This route was established February 19, 1997 as a Oregon Scenic Byway.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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The Pallisades, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon

The Pallisades – John Day Fossil Beds
~ Fossil, Oregon * Contact: 32651 Highway 19, Kimberly, OR 97848 * Phone: (541) 987-2333 ~

A breathtaking rest stop along the scenic Journey through Time scenic byway in Oregon is the geological features known as the Pallisades. It is located roughly 18 miles west of Fossil, Oregon. These cliffs and land forms are created by prehistoric volcanic lahars (or volcanic mud flows) roughly 54-40 million years ago. This landscape was quite different at that time – a lush semi-tropical rainforest with jungles, vines, trees, shrubs and mega fauna. After the volcanic cataclysms, the environment was turned into the arid desert it is now. Fossil evidence depicts a vast arrange of plant life from leavaes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and petrified wood of over 173 species of trees, vines, shrubs, and other plants. Numerous faunal fossil remains of crocodiles, mini four-toed horses, huge rhino-like brontotheres, and meat-eating creodonts were found. There are three distinct hiking trails all under a mile in length demonstrating the fossil and geological record. Picnic tables and restrooms make for a restful stay. Drinking water is available from the rest stop May through September.

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Country Buffet

Country Buffet
~ chain across the United States ~

Old Country Buffet has approximately 168 locations throughout the United States under the names of Country Buffet or Home Town Buffet. The mascot for the restaurants is the “O.C. Bee”. The restaurant chain is part of Ovation Brands, Inc. based in Texas as a subsidiary of Food Management Partners, Inc. They offer a steak-buffet, grilled-to-order steaks, single-serve dishes, scratch-made soups, entrees and desserts, beverage bars, buffets, chops and grilled seafood, international foods, and others. They can be found as Old Country Buffet, Country Buffet, HomeTown Buffet and Ryan’s Buffet.

I’ve visited many of these restaurants around the United States and they do not have many differences and their course selections are quite contrary the same. I’m a big fan of buffets, and this is mediocre yet tasty. Good prices for kids but a little higher end for adults. The selection is magnificent but it is your run of the mill home cooked selections with some international specialties to spice things up. Desserts are probably the better selections. Quick, fast, and will fill up your appetite.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Dinner with the family at Country Buffet – Tales of a Delivery Driver: Chronicle 278- Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken August 2, 2018. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=39039. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2018. Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography. More info about Colorado Springs: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31051

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Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza

Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza
~ Colorado Springs, Colorado * https://ilvicino.com/ ~

I have made numerous deliveries for this establishment in Colorado Springs and Denver. Every customer that received their orders were excited and almost drooling with anticipation to dig in, so I gather the food is spectacular. It smells it. I like the smell it leaves in my car and that’s usually not the case after a delivery. The staff is super friendly, attentive, and quick. They take special care to make sure the food looks perfect. I look forward to dining here someday. Rick Post, Tom White, and Greg Atkin are the founding three who built this mini empire that boasts 8 restaurants that can be found in Colorado, New Mexico, and Kansas. They blended together concepts from famous San Francisco hotspots with traditional wood-fire ovens that was learned from visiting traditional pizzerias in Italy with the highest quality ingredients in a casual upscale atmosphere.

They opened their first location in the infamous Nob Hill district of Albuquerque in 1992 and from there it was a whirlwind of growth.

Rated: UNRATED of 5 stars. This establishment has not yet been visited and reviewed. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Red Gravy (Colorado Springs)

Red Gravy
~ 23 S Tejon St, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903 * http://redgravyco.com/ ~

I have yet to visit this wonderful artsy and comfortable restaurant for a dine-in, though have been through the doors many times for deliveries. Every customer i’ve delivered to are dedicated patrons, always enthusiastic about receiving the delivery. Obviously that tops the list for a visit some day when the finances are flowing as it is a littler higher end than my usual options of my own wallet’s accord. The staff is extremely friendly, prompt, and attentive. Dining ambiance appears relaxed and appetizing. Deemed an Italian kitchen, the menu selection for brunch, lunch, and dinner looks addictive – there is not an item on the menu i wouldn’t be interested in. I tried to find some history about the restaurant but the web site lacks an about us page.

Rated: unrated of 5 stars. This establishment has not yet been rated. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Spiced Island Grill (Colorado Springs)

Spiced Island Grill
~ 10 N Sierra Madre St, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903 ~

A delicious treat of Jamaican food and spiced island gourmet that has a top rating in Colorado Springs. A little off-map location down by the park and railroad in downtown Colorado Springs. The restaurant began 20 years ago by owners Claudette and Glenroy Hutchinson vending at fairs, street markets, and festivals throughout the country from New England to Cambridge England, they travelled all over. The restaurant has a hide-a-way feel, nestled out of the city bustle yet in a downtown setting. It is believed by the owners that the building they occupy used to be a brothel that served gold miners and railroad workers in days past. The history is not documented, some shoes of brothel style were found in the crawlspace, and the building is called “El Tesoro” meaning “the treasure” of Sierra Madre Street. The building was converted into an adobe style restaurant in 1991.

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Blank Canvas Cafe (Colorado Springs)

Blank Canvas Cafe
~ 103 S Wahsatch Ave #106, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903 ~

A great little hole-in-the-wall restaurant and cafe off of Wahsatch avenue in downtown Colorado Springs. It appears to be a popular hangout and has great reviews. I unfortunately have not yet tried it out. They offer a unique assortment of teas, pastries, salads, paninis, sandwiches, and locally roasted coffee. They offer an artistic space for local artists and hand-made creations from the Studio as well as poetry readings, open mic night, comedy, music, and entertainment. The cafe is the vision of Dream Catchers and funded by Ariel Clinical Services.

Rated: Unrated of 5 stars. This establishment has not yet been reviewed. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Glastonbury Tor

Glastonbury Tor

One of the most infamous landmarks of Glastonbury is the Tor. It is extremely popular from the Arthurian legends. The Tor is a tall hill that ascends over 158 meters from Glastonbury and hosts panoramic views of the English countryside, viewing the three counties of Somerset, Dorset, and Wiltshire. During the legendary Isles of Avalon, this would have been the highest point on the isles. Geologically the Tor rises from Lower lias clays and limestones from the Middle and Upper Lias to a deposit of hard midford sand at the cap 521 feet and called the “Tor Burr”. The Tor has a conical shape made up of horizontal bands of limestone, clays, and capped with sandstone. As erosional forces dug away with limestone and clays, the sandstone lasts resisting erosion creating steep slopes. Historically, this Tor would have towered as an island above the flooded Somerset Levels, but as the levels were drained over the ages for agriculture and other uses, it is now a hill blended ito the landscape. The terraces on the slopes date to Medieval times where the hillside was one of the few dry locations where locals could farm and graze animals. The Tor is believed to have been a sacred site of pilgrimage for over 10,000 years and still used today. It is believed to be a gateway to the Otherworld. Lithics and other artifacts show presence of humans here for thousands of years.

It was said that Joseph of Arimathea in 63 C.E. founded a settlement here. Archaeologically the earliest found was a 6th century settlement, the earliest found in Glastonbury and many believe was the first Christian community in the area founded by Joseph. Evidence from the 6th century was found during excavations of 1964-1966 that exposed occupation during this time, and a second phase of occupation from 900-1100 C.E. by the finding of a head of a cross that were probably monks cells cut into the rock on the summit, a tradition of a monastic site on the Tor was confirmed by the 1243 charter granting permission for a fair at the Monastery of St. Michael at this location.

During the 8th century, the Great Abbey was built on the site of the present abbey ruins in the 8th century and then rebuilt becoming the wealthiest abbey in Britain, but destroyed in 1539 by the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

In the 13th century it is said the first Church on the Tor to be built was St. Michael’s Church in the charter of 1243 C.E.

These ruins are what you see today the most notable part of which is St. Michael’s Tower. These ruins are from the 2nd church replacing the original that was destroyed in the 1275 C.E. earthquake. This second church lasted until 1539 until the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The earliest legend after Joseph of Arimeathea is the mid-thirteenth century story of St. Patrick coming from Ireland and becoming the leader of the hermits here. He was said to have discovered an ancient Oratory in ruins atop the Tor after climbing through dense woods.

In the historic era, this is the location where Richard Whiting, the last Abbot of Glastonbury, and some of his monks were hung.

    “Glastonbury Tor, one of the most famous and sacred landmarks in the West Country. From the summit at 158 metres, you can get amazing views over three counties – Somerset, Dorset, and Wiltshire. What is the tor? “Tor” is a West Country word of Celtic origin meaning hill. The conical shape of Glastonbury Tor is natural – due to its rocks. It is made up of horizontal bands of clays and limestone with a cap of hard sandstone. The sandstone resists erosion, but the clays and limestone have worn away, resulting in the steep slopes. A historic landscape: Before modern drainage, the tor in winter would have towered as an island above the flooded Somerset Levels. The terraces on the slopes date back to medieval times when the hillside was one of the few dry places where people could grow crops and graze animals. A place of pilgrimage: The tor has been a place of pilgrimage for over 10,000 years. Many thousands of people still visit each year, some for its links with religion, legends and beliefs, and others because it is such a renowned landmark. History of the Tower: on the summit is St. Michael’s Tower, part of a 14th century church. It was built to replace a previous church which had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1275. The second church lasted until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. At this time, the tor was the scene of the hanging of Richard Whiting, the last Abbot of Glastonbury. The Tor was the site of a 6th century settlement, the earliest yet found in Glastonbury. Some believe this was the first Christian community in the area, said to have been founded by Joseph of Arimathea in AD 63. 8th Century: The great Abbey: A stone church was built on the site of the present abbey ruins in the 8th century. It was rebuilt and became one of the wealthiest abbeys in Britain, but was destroyed in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. 13th century: A church on the tor – The first written record on St. Michael’s Church on the tor is in a charter of 1243. The building was destroyed in an earthquake in 1275. 14th century- St. Michael’s Tower – in the 14th century, a new church was built on the tor, which survived until the Dissolution. St. Michael’s tower is all that remains. Glastonbury Tor rises from the Lower lias clays and limestones through the Middle and Upper Lias to a deposit of hard midford sand on the cap, 521 ft. high known locally as Tor Burr. This is more resistant to erosion than the lower levels making the slopes steep and unstable. These steep sculptured slopes, rising dramatically from the isle of Avalon in the flat somerset levels, have encouraged much speculation about the origin of the Tor in legend. The earliest reference is a mid-thirteenth century story of St. Patrick’s return from Ireland in which he became a leader of hermits at glastonbury and discovered an ancient ruined oratory on the summit after climbing through a dense wood, scattered fines of prehistoric, roman, and later objects suggest the Tor was always used by man, but evidence for actual occupation from the 6th AD was uncovered in the excavations of 1964-6, a second phase of occupation between 900-1100 was distinguished by the head of a cross and what were probably Christian monk’s cells cut into the rock on the summit, the tradition of a monastic site on the Tor is confirmed by a charter of 1243 granting permission for a fair at the monastery of St. Michael there. The present tower though later modified, is essentially 15th century and is associated with the second of two major churches which stood on the summit. The second one was probably built after the destructive earthquake of 1275. The monastic church of St. Michael closely associated with the Great Abbey in the town below fell into ruin after the Dissolution of the monasteries in 1539 when Richard WHiting the last abbot of Glastonbury was hanged on the Tor.” ~ information signs on the Tor, Glastonbury, England.

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Beckery Chapel, Hill, and Bride’s Mound (Glastonbury)

Beckery Hill and Chapel
https://historysshadow.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/beckery-chapel-monasticism-and-the-legend-of-king-arthur/

During my 2011 and 2012 trips to Glastonbury I spent some time wandering around the remains, ruins, and legends of the Beckery Chapel. It is the legendary tromping grounds of King Arthur. Several years ago, Archaeologists found seven skeletons with dates of 5th-6th century C.E. at the same location that in the 1960’s exposed over 50 other human bodies. It is now believed to be the monastic cemetery of the Glastonbury Abbey and town. Whether or not King Arthur resided here during his legend or not, it is a impressive historical cache. Of course it wasn’t until Geoffrey of Monmouth’s publications claims of King Arthur that brought attention to this place since the mid-12th century, and scholars believe it was hoaxed by the local monks to attract tourism dollars, attention, and a come-back to the church. England saw the ruling Angevin kings claiming descent off of Arthur, and many of England’s rulers claimed to be his true heir. The revelations of the early monasticism of Glastonbury and that which surrounds King Arthur made it a central place in the history of Christianity in England for over 1500 years. It is this hill that is believed to be the central location of the Arthurian legends. This is where Joseph of Arimathea disembarked after his journey from the Holy Land, planted his staff into the ground and gave birth to the legend of the Glastonbury Thorn. His staff turned into this thorn species, sprouting from his staff, and the name of the hill adapted to cover this story as “Wirral Hill” from etymology of when Joseph and his group climbed the hill they were all “weary” and therefore birthed the name “Wearyall”, or so the legend goes. As the thorn is said to have originated from the Middle East, it is believed to been spread to the area from a Crusader, and/or his staff made of its wood. For many years this thorn was celebrated atop Wearyall Hill. During the dissolution of the Abbeys, and destruction of Glastonbury Abbey, the mythos was moved to this chapel and hill. The most revered version of the thorn was re-planted atop the hill during the 1951 Festival of Britain, but in December of 2010, someone decapitated the holy thorn causing a local tragedy and killing the plant. A replacement met the same fate as did two other saplings planted in town destroyed. the only remaining are on the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey and St. John’s Church. “Beckery” is said by some to mean “Little Ireland” to refer to the monks crossing the sea from Ireland to be at Beckery and the Abbey when St. Patrick was the Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey. Others say “Beckery” referred to the site as a Bee Keeper’s Island. Other myths claim the area was once a site of a Druidic Women’s College, but no archaeology exists to support these legends. Many believe the site was pledged to the Irish Saint Bridgid who supposedly visited the site in 488 C.E. to the community and chapel that existed there. It combined Celtic Paganism with Christianity. To those in Glastonbury, Brighid is called “Bride” and is central to the old settlement on Bride’s Mound. The name of Beckery is first recorded in a charter dated 670 C.E. by the Saxon King Cenwealdh when he gave the site to Glastonbury Abbey. References to “Bride’s Mound” seem relatively modern being labelled sometime around the excavations thoughthe area has been called Bride’s Hill for some time and Bride’s Hay or Bridget’s Island. A 1628 entry in the rental of the Cavendish estates called it “Bridhill” ‘neare Backrey mill”. This is the old Baily’s building at Bride’s Mill. 1799 sale called it “Bride’s Hill in the Occupation of Robert Bath.”

In the Arthurian Legends, the Grail Romance “Prose perceval” and “y seint Grael” – the High History of the Holy Grail had claims to have been written here with the stories archived in the Glastonbury Abbey’s Library. It describes a hermit spread out on the altar with the Virgin Mary and the Devil fighting for his soul. It is believed John of Glastonbury – one of Arthur’s chroniclers having access to the High History inspired him to locate the chapel at Beckery whose doors were guarded by two hands holding flaming swords and is where Mary gave Arthur a crystal cross. The Hill is supposed to be the location where the knight Bedivere casts Excalibur back into the waters after King Arthur is wounded during the final battle and is believed to be the bridge over the River Brue at this hill and is called “Pomparles”. It is also the chapel where King Arthur received a vision of Mary Magdelene and the baby Jesus. Were these waters Bride’s Sluice or Well? or the lost Blue Spring?

The site has shown use since Neolithic times through the Iron Age and the Roman period.The Chapel is a holy shrine dating over 1500 years of age to late Roman or early Saxon occupation of the site. The site was a small island off of Glastonbury surrounded by wetlands and cut off from the general villagers. There were rudimentary buildings made of wattle and daub at the time. There were no original stone buildings. The site is believed to have been abandoned after Vikings invaded in the 9th century during their attack of Somerset. It was in 789 C.E. that the Vikings began attacking England. The site fell in disuse and slowly dissolved into agricultural use, the ruins of the chapel were visible until the late 1790s. There is suggestion that the land may have continued to be used as a shrine since prehistoric times, Christian sites built atop old Pagan sites. William of Malmesbury wrote 1129 C.E. an Anglo-Saxon charter of 670 including Beckery island as one of the seven islands granted to Glastonbury Abbey by the Saxon King Cenwealth – the seven islands were the Isles of Avalon, Beckery, Godney, Martinsea, Meare, Panborough, and Nyland. Papal harter of 1168 claimed Beckery as the first of the islands of the the Glastonbury Abbey Estates. It is here that it was believed that St. Bridget visited in 488 C.E. from Ireland and stayed for several years on the island of “Beokery” where there was a chapel dedicated to Mary Magdalene that was later re-dedicated to St. Bridget.

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Blue Spring or Bride’s Well (Glastonbury)

Faerie Tree and Blue Spring at Beckery; Glastonbury, England.

Blue Spring or Bride’s Well
~ Glastonbury, England ~

There is not much known about this Spring as all I heard about it was from locals and that it was one of many springs welling up from the caverns underneath the Glastonbury Tor. Some pointed in the direction of the White Spring and the Red Spring (Chalice Well). Some say it is the the Red Spring before Joseph of Arimathea brought the Grail to the Chalice Well turning it Red. Others claim it to be the forgotten (and long vanished) Bride’s Well at Beckery Chapel and Hill. That would be the location I would go with.

In the Arthurian Legends, the Grail Romance “Prose perceval” and “y seint Grael” – the High History of the Holy Grail had claims to have been written here with the stories archived in the Glastonbury Abbey’s Library. It describes a hermit spread out on the altar with the Virgin Mary and the Devil fighting for his soul. It is believed John of Glastonbury – one of Arthur’s chroniclers having access to the High History inspired him to locate the chapel at Beckery whose doors were guarded by two hands holding flaming swords and is where Mary gave Arthur a crystal cross. The Hill is supposed to be the location where the knight Bedivere casts Excalibur back into the waters after King Arthur is wounded during the final battle and is believed to be the bridge over the River Brue at this hill and is called “Pomparles”. It is also the chapel where King Arthur received a vision of Mary Magdelene and the baby Jesus. Were these waters Bride’s Sluice or Well? or the lost Blue Spring?

Faerie Tree and Blue Spring at Beckery; Glastonbury, England.

Bride’s Well at Beckery

The site has shown use since Neolithic times through the Iron Age and the Roman period. The Chapel is a holy shrine dating over 1500 years of age to late Roman or early Saxon occupation of the site. The site was a small island off of Glastonbury surrounded by wetlands and cut off from the general villagers. There were rudimentary buildings made of wattle and daub at the time. There were no original stone buildings. The site is believed to have been abandoned after Vikings invaded in the 9th century during their attack of Somerset. It was in 789 C.E. that the Vikings began attacking England. The site fell in disuse and slowly dissolved into agricultural use, the ruins of the chapel were visible until the late 1790s. There is suggestion that the land may have continued to be used as a shrine since prehistoric times, Christian sites built atop old Pagan sites. William of Malmesbury wrote 1129 C.E. an Anglo-Saxon charter of 670 including Beckery island as one of the seven islands granted to Glastonbury Abbey by the Saxon King Cenwealth – the seven islands were the Isles of Avalon, Beckery, Godney, Martinsea, Meare, Panborough, and Nyland. Papal harter of 1168 claimed Beckery as the first of the islands of the the Glastonbury Abbey Estates. It is here that it was believed that St. Bridget visited in 488 C.E. from Ireland and stayed for several years on the island of “Beokery” where there was a chapel dedicated to Mary Magdalene that was later re-dedicated to St. Bridget.

In the 1920’s a Pilgrimage route was created by Alice Buckton from Benedict Street and Porchestall Drove through what is now called “Friend’s Land” where they would stop to hang “clooties” or wishing rags on a wishing tree or thorn tree near the sluice known as “lost Bride’s Well” seeking blessings or healing before going up Bride’s Mound. This is also where it is purported that Dr. John Goodchild in 1897 received a vision to bury a blue bowl that he got in Bordighera, Italy as soon as possible after his father’s death. He placed it in the pond by this sluice near Bride’s Mound as instructed by his omen. He pilgrimaged to this lost well every year from 1899 to 1906 (minus 1905). In 1906, Janet and Christine Allen found the bowl in the pond but replaced it, then that October Kitty Tudor Pole removed it and took it to a family shrine in Bristol. The bowl was returned to Glastonbury and is protected by the Trustees of the Chalice Well. At Bride’s Mound there is a stone marker showing where the blue bowl was found but it is unknown if this is the exact location where the pond and sluice (lost Bride’s Well or Blue Spring) was.

Faerie Tree and Blue Spring at Beckery; Glastonbury, England.

Some claim that the Blue Spring got its name “Blue” from the Blue Bowl that once existed there.

More information:

Rated: 4 of 5 stars. Searched for on 8/1/2011, 6/14/2012 and couldn’t be found. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Faerie Tree and Blue Spring at Beckery; Glastonbury, England. June 14, 2012: Exploring from Glastonbury to Dundon Beacon, England. (c) 2012 – photography by Leaf McGowan, technogypsie.com. More info about the Blue Spring: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=3414 & Beckery Hill/Chapel http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=3416
(expected publication July 2012). More info on the UK: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=890. More information about Glastonbury: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=3403
(expected publication July 2012).
For more information visit:
http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/
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Chalice Well

Chalice Well
~ Glastonbury, England * http://www.chalicewell.org.uk/index.cfm/glastonbury/ ~

Enter in the legends of King Arthur and the Holy Grail thou shalt enter the Chalice Well. It is one of the most infamous holy wells found in Britain and Europe. It is a classic example of a magical spring full of legends and lore surrounding it. It is located at the base of Glastonbury Tor. Its chalybeate waters are legendary and known to flow ceaselessly at a steady rate and temperature that is said to never vary. Many believe its the representation of the blood of Christ that miraculously sprang forth from the ground when Joseph of Arimathea buried or washed the cup used at the Last Supper (The Holy Grail). To Pagans, it is the blood spring of the Earth Mother, the essence of all life, and her unbounded life force. Some say the spring evokes peace, love, and the essence of all life. The Lion’s Head fountain is where visitors can drink of the water and fill up bottles to take home with them. The gift shop sells empty bottles for visitors to do this. The Red Spring is portrayed as a symbol of the feminine aspect of Deity while the Tor is symbolized as the male aspect of Deity. The Blade and the Chalice. The Tower and the Well.

The well is also called the Red Spring or Blood Spring as it displays a reddish hue from the ferrous oxide oxidized at the surface. The reddish color is said to represent the rusting nails of the Cross that Jesus died on. The Well springs out 25,000 gallons of warm water a day and is said to have never failed even during times of drought. Legend has it the waters possess healing powers. The Chalice Well Trust maintains and protects the Spring, established in 1959 by Wellesley Tudor Pole preserving the space for pilgrims to enjoy the magical spring. The Spring and its buildings are labeled Grade 1 Listed Building in England Preservation. The Well was researched by the Exeter University School in 2009. They determined the well is fed by a deep aquifer in the lower levels of the Pennard Sands.

There is archaeological evidence on and around the Spring of lithics, pottery, and artifacts dating to the Paleolithic and Mesolithic Age. There is a shard of pottery dating to the Iron Age. Other shards date to Roman and Medieval Times. It is estimated that this site has been used for over 2000 years.

A garden has been established around the Spring centered around spirituality, meditation, and tranquility. Many events take place here annually. The major events are World Peace Day, Michaelmass, Samhain, Summer Solstice, and Winter Solstice. The Chalice Well charges admission to enter the gardens and to visit the well. A free outpouring is just outside the fence. Just to the East is another natural spring called the White Spring, possessing colorless waters originating from a shallow aquifer. This has been built into a temple. There is no charge to visit the White Spring.

bird @ Chalice Well, Glastonbury, England. June 14, 2012: Exploring from Glastonbury to Dundon Beacon, England. (c) 2012 – photography by Leaf McGowan, technogypsie.com. More info on the Chalice Well: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=3407
(expected publication July 2012). More info on the UK: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=890. More information about Glastonbury: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=3403
(expected publication July 2012).
For more information visit:
http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/
For travel tales, visit:
http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/

Christian Legend:
Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Grail (the cup that Christ used at the last supper to give his servants wine) to England and hid the cup here. When he did the waters were said to have turned red. It is said that Glastonbury is King Arthur’s tromping grounds. Over the well is the well cover for the Chalice Well that was designed as it was by church architect and Archaeologist Frederick Bligh Bond gifted to the gardens after the Great War in 1919. The two interlocking circles create the symbol of the Vesica Piscis and within the well lid design is a spear or sword bisecting these two circles, perhaps referencing Excalibur, the legendary sword of King Arthur who is believed to be buried at Glastonbury Abbey. Foliage on it represents the Glastonbury Thorn. William of Malmesbury who first recorded the well described the well waters gushing as sometimes red and sometimes blue. Some say this is the legendary Blue Spring that has vanished and the Red Spring was the Blue Spring before Joseph of Arimathea brought the Grail here turning it Red.

Local Lore:
The waters of the well is attributed to human blood – because the waters are red, the water coagulates as does hemoglobin, and the waters are warm. The Well is also a symbol and inspiration for the Eye of Elena in Sarah J Mass’ Throne of Glass series and featured in the Kingdom of Mei series as Christianity being a cyclical cataclysm.

Cornish, Welsh, and Irish Mythology:
Wells are seen as gateways to the spirit world or Other World, overlapping the inner and out worlds.

Islamic Mythology:
Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad in his commentary on the Quran considered the possibility that the story of the Seven Sleepers (from surah 18, Al-Kahf, “The Cave”) was based on the earlier legend of Joseph of Arimathea having come to Glastonbury, with the cave being a metaphor for England, though he considered the Catacombs of Rome a more likely source of the legend. (wikipedia)

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. Visited 8/1/2011, 6/14/12. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Glastonbury

Glastonbury, England

Oh beautiful yet bizarre Glastonbury. I’ve been in and out of this village on backpacking trips since 2008 and haven’t been back since 2013. Glastonbury is a small village and civil parish located in Somerset England at the dry end of the low-lying Somerset levels 23 miles south of Bristol. The 2011 census stated it had a population of 8,932. The town has been inhabited since Neolithic times and there are evidence of timber trackways such as “Sweet Track” laying history in the area. The Glastonbury Lake Village was a bustling Iron Age Village located right next to the River Brue and Sharpham Park 2 miles to the west dating to the Bronze Age. Glastonbury was home to the Glastonbury Abbey that controlled the tow for 700 years. Many historic structures remain in the town from the Tribunal, George Hotel, Pilgrim’s Inn, Somerset Rural Life Museum, and the Church of St. John the Baptist.

Glastonbury was known as a center for commerce especially during the Middle Ages. This enabled the construction of the Market Cross, Glastonbury Canal, and the Glastonbury & Street railway station. Today it is considered a New Age community attracting spiritual people from all walks of life especially within the New Age Movement and Neo-Paganism much attracted to the legends of King Arthur, Joseph of Arimathea, the Holy Grail, and Glastonbury Tor.

Legend has it that Joseph of Arimathea stuck his staff into the ground and it mysteriously blossomed into the Glastonbury Thorn. There is legend of a landscape zodiac surrounding the town although no evidence of this exists. It is home to the Glastonbury Festival held in the neighboring village of Pilton that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

During the 7th millenium B.C.E. Glastonbury was inundated by floods caused by sea level rise that caused Mesolithic peoples to occupy seasonal camps on higher grounds in the area. Archaeological evidence of dated flints have helped archaeologists date occupation from the Mesolithic and Neolithic of the area. The Neolithic inhabitants exploited the reed swamps for the natural resources constructing wooden trackways through the area – “Sweet Track” trackway located to the west of Glastonbury dates to being built around 3806 BCE according to dendrochronology and is one of the oldest engineered roads in Europe. It was the oldest until the 2009 discovery of a 6000 year old trackway in Belmarsh Prison. The road extended across the marsh between the then island at Westhay and a ridge of high ground at Shapwick for approximately 2000 meters and was part of a network of tracks once crossing the Somerset Levels. It was built of crossed poles of ash, oak, and lime driven into the waterlogged soil to create a walkway of oak planks laid end-to-end and was built along the route of an earlier track known as the “Post Track” dating from 3838 BCE.

The Lake Village was built around 300 BCE and had around 100 inhabitants from 5-7 groups of houses each for an extended family with sheds, barns, and dwellings made of hazel and willow covered with reeds surrounded by a wooden palisade. The Village was occupied until the Roman period ca. 100 C.E. after which it was abandoned due to water level rise as it was built on a morass artificial foundation of timber filled with brushwood, bracken, clay, and rubble.

This evolved into the settlement that came to be called “Glastonbury” around the 7-8th century as “Glestingaburg” referring to Anglo-Saxon names for a person or kindred group settled in a fortified place. It is believed the founder of the town was named Glast, a descendant of Cunedda. There is reference to it being first called Ineswitrin or Ynys Witrin according to William of Malmesbury’s “De Antiquitate Glastonie Ecclesie”. Centwine was the first Saxon patron of the Glastobury Abbey 676-685 C.E.

Legend has it that Saint Collen came to Glastonbury as one of the first hermits to settle on the Tor before the Abbey was built by Saint Patrick. Collen had struggles with the local faeries living in the area and was summoned by Gwyn ap Nudd at the summit of the Tor upon arriving entered a hovering mansion and King Gwyn’s armies, courtiers, and palace folk who attempted to lure him into the Otherworld. Collen dispersed the apparitions with holy water. According to Druidic mythology, this palace was made of glass and was able to receive the spirits of the dead who depart from the Tor, a passageway to the Otherworlds. This was why the chapel then church of Saint Michael was built on the Tor as Saint Michael was the chief patron against diabolic attacks which the monks believed the Faerie King Gwyn caused. The Tor was named after this palace of glass for the dead.

By the Middle Ages the town was largely dependent on the Abbey but also became a center for the Wool Trade until the 18th century. A Canal was built for trading connecting the Abbey to the River Brue. The dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539 saw the execution of the remaining Abbot and his monks.

The town was revived in 1705 C.E. being granted a charter of incorporation and was dependent on an economy of trade relying on the drainage of the surrounding moors, an opening of the Glastonbury Canal and became a local parish part of the hundred of the Glaston Twelve Hides until the 1730’s when it became a borough of its own. By the 19th century it had many troubles caused from the Glastonbury Canal drainage and competition from the new railways causing a dip in trade and depression set in its economy. The Canal was closed in 1854 and dismantled, being replaced the same year by a railway. A wharf was built for the railway and used until 1936 when it was filled in. the Main line to Glastonbury closed in 1966. Industrial production of woollen slippers, sheepskins, boots, and shoes became the mainstay but saw folding manufacture in 1993 converting to form Clarks Village – a purpose-built factory outlet. In the 19th-20th century tourism became the mainstay accompanying the rise in antiquarianism associating the Abbey and mysticism of the town.

Many Archaeologists believe that the Monks of the local Abbey connected the fables of King Arthur, the Holy Grail, and Joseph of Arimathea with Glastonbury to meet the challenges of a financial crisis caused by a devastating fire burning the Abbey. This was perpetuated by writing of historians such as William of Malmesbury, Venerable Bede, Gerald of Wales, and Geoffrey of Monmouth. In 1191 the Abbey’s monks claimed to have found the graves of King Arthur and Guinevere to the south of the Lady Chapel of the Abbey Church. The remains were later moved and were lost during the Reformation. In modern times this led to the four year study by Archaeologists stated “we didn’t claim to disprove the legendary associations, or would we wish to” and “that doesn’t dispel the Arthurian legend, it just means the pit excavated (where Arthur is said to be buried) he rather over-claimed.” It is however believed a hoax to substantiate the antiquity of Glastonbury’s foundation and increase its renown. The Glastonbury Zodiac came from a 1934 artist rendering by Katherine Maltwood suggesting the landscape formed a map of the stars on a gigantic scale formed by features in the landscape such as the fields, roads, and streams situated around Glastonbury. She claimed the Temple was created by Sumerians in 2700 BCE. Ian Burrow, Tom Williamson, and Liz Bellamy, scholars studying this myth from 1975-1983 used landscape historical research concluded contradicted the idea. For example the eye of Capricorn she labelled was a haystack, the western wing of the Aquarius Phoenix was a road laid in 1782 to run around Glastobury, the Cancer boat consisted of a network of 18th century drainage ditches and paths and there is no support of the theory that a “temple” in any form existed. Today Geomancers claim Glastonbury to be the center of several ley lines.

Below is a list of places I visited and reviewed. I hope to have this expanded to a complete list of resources and places of interest within the next few years.

Sites of Interest:

More to come …

Lodging:

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    Glastonbury & Surrounding Area, a set on Flickr.

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Traditional English Breakfast

Full English Breakfast
~ Anglo-Saxon rooted European Countries like the United Kingdom, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, and England. ~

I was first introduced to the Full English Breakfast while travelling in Europe in 2005. It is also called a “Full Breakfast” in other parts of Europe. It is a common breakfast found in English-based cultured European countries like England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Northern Ireland, and the Isle of Man respectively. It typically includes bacon, sausage, eggs, beans, tomatoes, and coffee and/or tea. It has regional variants but is also called a “fry up”, “Full English”, “Full Irish”, “Full Scottish”, “Full Welsh”, “Full Cornish”, “Ulster Fry”, etc. depending on where in Anglo Europe you are dining. It is really popular and common in all of Ireland and the United Kingdom being found in pubs, restaurants, cafes, and other establishments usually offered at any time of the day as an “all day breakfast”. It became a National Dish dating back to the 13th century very commonly originating from the country houses of the gentry who in old Anglo-Saxon tradition of hospitality would provide such to their guests, friends, neighbors, and relatives. It especially became popular in the U.K. and Ireland during the Victorian Era and is a suggested breakfast as found in Isabella Beeton’s Book of Household Management published in 1861.

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Glastonbury Experience Courtyard

The Glastonbury Experience Courtyard
~ Glastonbury, England * https://www.unitythroughdiversity.org/glastonbury-experience-courtyard.html ~

One of the must see sections of Glastonbury as I experienced on my 2011 backpack tour of England is the Glastonbury Experience Courtyard. It was founded in 1978 by a Dutch couple named Willem and Helene Koppejan who bought the retain properties at the foot of Glastonbury High Street and converted to a shopping mall of unique shops and function rooms called the “Glastonbury Experience”. Most of the shops began with specialization on “arts and crafts” focused on contemporary spirituality. Willem passed before they finished their dream. For several years the project came out at a loss being supplemented by Helenes private funds until in 1987 Helene met Barry Taylor who was a management and financial consultant who also had a strong interest in spirituality. They incorporated Barry’s plan to turn everything around. It came about when a section of Glastonbury’s residents were also inspired to re-create Glastonbury as a great center for learning, teaching, and spirituality mimicking what they saw it was in the Middle Ages but appropriate for the 21st century. Several key institutions moved in and became based in the Glastonbury Experience including the Isle of Avalon Foundation, The Library of Avalon, and the Goddess Temple. A Pilgrim Reception Center and Sanctuary was also formed. By 1992 Barry and Helene set up the Glastonbury Trust whose purpose was to benefit the public through the advancement of religion and education as a charity. In 1997 they established an agreement that in the event of their deaths the ownership of the Glastonbury Experience would pass on to a new charity. In 1998 Helen died and the Experience was transferred to the Glastonbury Trust Limited. The Trust began setting up a center offering help, guidance, training, and healing for all aspects of spiritual growth and ecological awareness.

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. Visited 8/1/2011. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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The Goddess Temple (Glastonbury)

The Glastonbury Goddess Temple
~ 2-4 High St, Glastonbury, England BA6 9DU, UK Phone: +44 1458 837977 https://www.goddesstemple.co.uk/ ~

I first encountered the Glastonbury Goddess Temple during my 2011 backpacking trip around the U.K. and have since visited in 2012 and 2013. The Temple was founded in 2000 as a pop-up Temple then again in 2003 as a public permanent Goddess Temple space in the Courtyard of the Glastonbury Experience and house of worship. The Temple claims to the be first formally recognized public indigenous British Goddess Temple in Europe for over 1500 years. The temple is open to the public every day from noon to 4 pm for prayer, meditation, celebration, and worship of Goddess. It is a home base for 21st century Goddess worshipers to meet one another, network, converse, pray, worship, do rituals, and share the Love of the Goddess(es). The Temple moved to the Goddess Hall on Benedict Street in 2008 where they hold larger seasonal ceremonies, offer teachings, and Priestess training. They opened a gift shop also in the Courtyard offering spaces for Goddess artisans, crafters, makers, writers, and Priestesses to sell their creations to the public. In 2016 they expanded to the Goddess House on Magdalene Street for their Goddess Healing Temple and Education Center. A sharing library of Goddess Books is also available. There are various function rooms that can be hired by groups for Goddess-based lectures, workshops, rites, or classes.

Rated: 5 of 5 stars. Visited 8/1/2011, 6/14/12. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Glastonbury Methodist Church Drinking Fountain

Glastonbury Methodist Church Drinking Fountain
~ Lambrook Street, Glastonbury, England BA6 8BY Phone 01458 442313 http://somersetmethodists.org/somerset_mendip_circuit_029.htm ~

There is not much available about this font, drinking fountain, and/or well. The Methodist chapel was built around 1843. To the left of the chapel where the well font currently sits was a pond for washing carts – this was covered over to form a brick-arched reservoir which was first mentioned in 1821 property deeds. The reservoir is underneath the lawn and contains over 31,500 gallons of water still accessed by the Fire Department when necessary and is owned by Bristol Water. The Well font is believed to connect to this and appears to be for drinking. At the time of my visit, there was a blue ribbon attached to it and a cup filled with water sitting in the font. No signs stating whether safe to drink or not but assumed such.

It is known by tourists as a “drinking fountain” and is inset into the front stone wall of the churches’ facade opening onto the street. http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1250671 The sign to the left of it says “commit no nuisance.” Near the apex of the ornate drinking fountain is a hand that points to the right (or south) around which is inscribed “TO THE TOR”.

This is also the Methodist church that has the “Glastonbury Thorn Trees” on its property that oddly blooms twice a year instead of once and is from whence the budded branch during Christmas is sent to the Queen.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. Visited 8/1/2011. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Chocolate Love Temple, Glastonbury, England


Chocolate love temple, Glastonbury, England

Chocolate Love Temple, 86 High St, Glastonbury, England BA6 9DZ, UK Phone: +44 1458 835479

A great little delicious shop in the heart of Glastonbury I discovered during my backpacking tour of 2011. Its intriguing, alternative, and ecstatic … the chocolatier within calls themselves alchemist artisans who focus on raw chocolate as a healing medicine. Offered is a variety of chocolates, cakes, treats, medicinal mushrooms, love drops, supplements, and super foods like bee pollen. A must drop-in for any chocolate enthusiast.

Rated: 4.5 of 5 stars. Visited 8/1/2011. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

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Glastonbury Abbey and Gardens

Glastonbury Abbey and Garden
~ Magdalene Street, Glastonbury, England BA6 9EL – www.glastonburyabbey.com ~

A backpacking trip around Europe during the Summer of 2011 allowed me to explore these magical historic ruins. The Glastonbury Abbey was a Monastery founded in Glastonbury Somerset, England around 712 C.E. and is one of Britain’s scheduled monuments and grade I listed buildings. It is a popular tourist spot especially amongst pilgrimages to Glastonbury. It was said to have been the richest monastery in the country according to the English Domesday Book 1086 C.E. It is also said to be the burial grounds for Edgar the Peaceful, Edmund I, Edmund Ironside, and King Arthur.

A glass works was founded on the site during the 7th century. The Danes destroyed the area during the 9th century. Archaeology shows it was expanded in the 10th century. In 960 C.E. Dunstan became the Archbishop of Canterbury and in 967 King Edmund was buried here. By 1016 Edmund Ironside was buried here as well. The Glastonbury Canal was erected in the area during the 10th century and linked to the Abbey via the River Brue in order to transport stones to build the abbey, transport produce, grains, fish, and wine from the abbey’s properties. The 11th century saw rise of the abbey becoming central to the large water based transportation network from the canals and channels made connecting the Meare estate with the Bristol channel. 1066 C.E. the Abbey was in its prime for wealth and Turstin the Norman Abbot expanded the church adding an eastern segment to the east of the older Saxon church and further from the ancient cemetery. This was drawn back together by the abbot Herlewin constructing a larger church. By 1077 C.E. Thurstin was dismissed whence his armed retainers killed numerous monks by the High altar. In 1184 C.E. it was completely destroyed by a fire and then rebuilt during the 14th century. The Abbey controlled most of the surrounding lands and was responsible for the drainage projects on the Somerset Levels. By the late 15th century a Inn called the “George Hotel and Pilgrim’s Inn” was built for visitors to the Abbey. With the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536 C.E. all 850 monasteries, nunneries, and friaries in England were dissolved and all 15000 monks and nuns dispersed, lands and buildings sold off or leased to new lay occupants. 1539 C.E. All the silver, gold, and remaining assets were stripped from the abbey. It was suppressed by King Henry VIII during the Dissolutioin of the Monasteries and Richard Whiting the last abbot was hung, drawn, and quartered atop the Glastonbury Tor in 1539 C.E. as a traitor.

August 1, 2011: Glastonbury Tor, Glastonbury, England. (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=4287) (c) 2011-2012 – photography by Leaf McGowan, technogypsie.com. Glastonbury Tor, one of the most famous and sacred landmarks in the West Country. From the summit at 158 metres, you can get amazing views over three counties – Somerset, Dorset, and Wiltshire. What is the tor? “Tor” is a West Country word of Celtic origin meaning hill. The conical shape of Glastonbury Tor is natural – due to its rocks. It is made up of horizontal bands of clays and limestone with a cap of hard sandstone. The sandstone resists erosion, but the clays and limestone have worn away, resulting in the steep slopes. A historic landscape: Before modern drainage, the tor in winter would have towered as an island above the flooded Somerset Levels. The terraces on the slopes date back to medieval times when the hillside was one of the few dry places where people could grow crops and graze animals. A place of pilgrimage: The tor has been a place of pilgrimage for over 10,000 years. Many thousands of people still visit each year, some for its links with religion, legends and beliefs, and others because it is such a renowned landmark. History of the Tower: on the summit is St. Michael’s Tower, part of a 14th century church. It was built to replace a previous church which had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1275. The second church lasted until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. At this time, the tor was the scene of the hanging of Richard Whiting, the last Abbot of Glastonbury. The Tor was the site of a 6th century settlement, the earliest yet found in Glastonbury. Some believe this was the first Christian community in the area, said to have been founded by Joseph of Arimathea in AD 63. 8th Century: The great Abbey: A stone church was built on the site of the present abbey ruins in the 8th century. It was rebuilt and became one of the wealthiest abbeys in Britain, but was destroyed in 1539

Legends of King Arthur surround Glastonbury as many believe it to have been Avalon with links suggesting the medieval monks of the Abbey having a connection to Arthur and that the abbey was founded by Joseph of Arimathea during the 1st century. Archaeological evidence suggests the abbey was founded by Britons early 7th century C.E. even though Roman and Saxons had occupied the site through its course in history. Many myths and legends place it as the setting for King Arthur tales and the Holy Grail. Archaeology tells us that Glastonbury fell into the hands of the Saxons during the Battle of Peonnum 658 C.E. as far west as the River Parrett and allowed the British Abbot Bregored to remain in power during the time. Bregored died in 669 C.E. and replaced by Berhthwald, an Anglo-Saxon abbott for several years.

Legend has it that King Arthur’s tomb as well as Queen Guinevere are buried beneath the High Altar. This was recorded in 1191 C.E. by Giraldus Cambrensis in the De Principis instructione where the Abbott henry de Sully discovered a massive hollow oak trunk containing two skeletons 16 feet beneath the altar, above it under the covering stone was a leaden cross with unmistakable inscription “Hic jacet sepultus inclitus rex Arthurus in insula Avalonia” (Here lies interred the famous King Arthur on the Isle of Avalon). Archaeologists and Historians claim it was merely a publicity stunt at the time to raise funds to repair the Abbey from the fire.

The ruins were stripped of lead and dressed stones hauled away to construct other buildings and the site was given to the Duke of Somerset, Edward Seymour by Edward VI. Seymour established a colony of Protestant Dutch weavers on the site. 1559 C.E. Elizabeth I granted the site to Peter Carew posting it in private holdings until the 20th century, stripping the ruins of more stones leaving only the Abbot’s Kitchen which was converted to a Quaker meeting house. The remainder of the site remained a quarry. The Ancient Monuments Protection Act of 1882 halted any more destruction to the site. The Bath and Wells Diocesan Trust purchased the lands and ruins in 1908 C.E. This was passed on to the Glastonbury Abbey Trust. By 1924 numerous pilgrimages to the Ruins began making it a tourist destination.

An occurence of the Glastonbury Thorn, a species subset of the Common Hawthorn was found on site. This was mentioned in the 16th century manuscript “Lyfe of Joseph of Arimathea” to having flowered twice in a year once normal on “old wood” in Spring and once on “new wood” in the winter. The tree is believed to have been propagated by graftings and cuttings with the cultivar “Biflora” or “Praecox” creating a custom of sending a budded branch to the Queen at Christmas initiated by james Montague the Bishop of Bath and Wells during James I’s reign. Trees have survived from earlier grafts including two other Holy Thorns on the grounds of St. John’s Church.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. Visited 8/1/2011. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

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