at Glastonbury found out
about King Arthur's body at the very time that they needed lots of
money from pilgrims. This is too much of a coincidence to be
There are no eye-witness
accounts to show what was found during the digging. Accounts from
soon after contradict one another. Most say Arthur and
Guinevere were found. One says their enemy, Mordred, was there
The style of writing on
the lead cross supposedly found in the grave does not date
from King Arthur's time. The strange 'A's look very like 12th
century writing over the door to Stoke-sub-Hamdon Church, just
18 miles to the south.
All the accounts of the
writing on the cross give different wording. One says
Guinevere, Arthur's 'second wife' was there too. This does not
appear on the drawing of it. Every story says Arthur only
had one wife.
No-one ever suggested
Glastonbury might be the Isle of Avalon until after the cross
was found. No-one connected King Arthur with Glastonbury
before this either.
Some historians think
the monks pretended to find King Arthur's body to please the
King. The Welsh thought Arthur was magic and was not dead but
only sleeping. He would return one day to throw the English
out of Wales. The discovery showed he was really dead.
Bodies of saints brought
in the most money from pilgrims. The monks did not make up
stories about finding the body of their supposed founder, St.
Joseph of Arimathea. He would have been much more popular than
Archaeologists have proved
that the monks did dig a hole in the cemetery between two
important stone-lined graves. They were probably marked by big
stone crosses, the remains of which were the 'pyramids'
described by the monks.
The lead cross
disappeared. The style of writing is only known from a drawing.
This may not be correct; or it may date from the
10th century. The cross could have been put in the grave then.
Accounts of the finding
were written down from memory and some people might easily
have got it wrong, especially the writing on the cross. There
Welsh record that says Arthur had three wives, all called Guinevere.
In the Dark Ages,
Glastonbury was like an island sticking up out of the marshes.
It was also thought to be the most important monastery in
Britain. Traditionally King Arthur is said to have been a
member of the local Dumnonian Royal family. What better place to be