Archaeology at Glastonbury Abbey on-line

Trustees of Glastonbury Abbey, 2007 (updated 2010)

Data copyright © Trustees of Glastonbury Abbey, Individual Authors unless otherwise stated

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Trustees of Glastonbury Abbey (2010) Archaeology at Glastonbury Abbey on-line [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

Topographic survey


Although many historic plans of Glastonbury Abbey survive, the site has until recently lacked an accurate and detailed modern survey. To meet the need for such a record, the Trustees of the abbey commissioned this fresh, digitally based, metric survey of the grounds and monument in 2007.

The area surveyed forms a large rectangular enclosure. It corresponds in large part to the precinct of the medieval abbey, although post-medieval encroachments now occupy portions of its southern and western sides. The remains of the abbey and claustral ranges, which form the core of the monument, lie towards the northern side of the enclosure, but the entire site is of great archaeological importance, with buried evidence of prehistoric, and probably of Roman, occupation preceding the Anglo-Saxon monastery, and traces of its monastic and later occupation over the entire site.

The survey was carried out as the first phase of a programme of metric survey, which has also included photogrammetry of the upstanding monument. It was undertaken by the Downland Partnership of Devizes, Wiltshire, according to the standards laid down by English Heritage in its document Metric Survey Specifications for English Heritage (2000). The work was carried out in 2007-8.