What Needs To Be Done
The North Wall
Immediate conservation work is required to consolidate and stabilise the surface of the North Wall as it is eroding away and is actually receding in parts. Over time, as the bottom courses erode, stones from the upper level will fall.
The North Wall is important not just to Glastonbury and Somerset but also to the country. It is an extraordinary survivor. The wall dates to the 12th century and is the oldest standing part of the abbey, dating to the Norman period.
It was once a massive building, possibly a guest hall to accommodate the throngs of visitors to the medieval abbey in a long open dormitory. Further archaeological recording will be done as part of the conservation project. This will help us to interpret it and understand its true historical significance.
Lady Chapel, Crypt & Galilee
A conservation and enhancement project is planned for this part of the Abbey.
Immediate conservation work is required for the Galilee. Its carved stonework is extremely fragile and is crumbling away. The last two harsh winters have caused stone to fall from the walls. It is of huge importance because it is a really rare example in combination with a Lady Chapel to be sited at the West end of a church.
The Lady Chapel, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, is usually to be found to the east of the High Altar at the east end of a church.
The Lady Chapel at Glastonbury Abbey dates to c1184 and has been described as 'a seminal monument in the history of English Gothic architecture and sculpture'. It has remnants of extremely rare painted decoration of the period and the building is an exquisite and outstanding example of its time.
Stonework in its upper levels needs securing, capping on the tops of the walls needs to be replaced to protect them and the corner turrets need to be conserved.
The Crypt beneath, known as St Joseph's Chapel, is sited beneath the most sacred part of the Great Abbey Church. Its presentation needs to be greatly improved to be more meaningful and attractive.
The Abbot's Kitchen
The Abbot's Kitchen is an iconic building and a very rare survival in Europe of a medieval monastic kitchen. It was built between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Its scale and grandeur reflect the abbey's wealth and importance at the time. The abbots of Glastonbury would have played host to many high ranking and wealthy visitors including royalty and nobility, who stayed as guests in the abbot's hall. Their meals were prepared in this kitchen away from the main monastic enclosure.
Modern concrete pointing, which is damaging the medieval stonework needs to be removed. The lantern on top of the stone roof, which is suffering surface decay, needs to be repaired.
The conservation work and improvements to ventilation and lighting will allow a wider range of activities so that our visitors can enjoy the kitchen all year round.