Reprinted from Newsletter 113, dated 2004 October

Chairman’s notes

John Brunsdon

Wick Hollow

Wick Hollow is one of the remarkable beauty spots of Glastonbury. The road continues up from Bovetown between steep banks of sandstone with trees clinging precariously to the cliff face. The Tor Bus uses this route, so it is increasingly seen by visitors.

Sadly, young people have excavated a large hole under the footpath along the top, to such an extent that the highway authority has closed the path (WS15/6 and 15/82) while considering ways of dealing with the problem. Closure will inconvenience many people who regularly use the footpath.

Please speak out and report instances of vandalism of this sort, as they have serious consequences.

Bushy Coombe

Better news about the Bushy Coombe footpath (WS 15/9), which becomes slippery and quite dangerous in wet weather. It is on the busy and preferred route up to the Tor by foot, avoiding the main A361 road.

The new owner of the coombe, Rory Weightman, has agreed to allow repairs to take place, and Clare Haskins, the Mendip rights-of-way officer, has put a scheme together.

Our society has made a bid to the county council’s community fund for a grant to pay a contractor to do the work necessary. If the bid is successful, the work could be done during the quieter winter months and completed by March. We should know by November if the grant aid is available, and we are in any case committed to tree-planting at the top of the coombe this winter.

Rory Weightman is living in tented accommodation in the coombe awaiting the conversion of the listed gothic coachhouse. This building was on the Buildings at Risk register, so it will be good to see it lived in and protected. The coombe is now run as a nature reserve and will be managed accordingly. (See the article by Anand Rory Weightman in newsletter 111.)

News from the Tor

Cattle have again grazed the Tor this summer, and the grass and wildflowers are in good condition. The herd of cows with calves and Devon bull are very quiet and well behaved. They are rather “untidy” animals and have been removed at peak visitor times.

A concrete bench has been destroyed, and there was another graffiti incident on the tower. Routine fence repairs are ongoing. Fortunately, illegal camping, raves and drumming have not been a big problem this summer. There are plans to replace the concrete apron round the base of the tower.

News from the Abbey

There are plans to form a “Friends of the Abbey” organization along the lines of the Friends of the Abbey Barn. This has been prompted by the visit from Maillezais in Vendée, which is twinned with the Abbey. The friends association there plays a major part.

The Lady Chapel bridge project is back on the agenda again. Visitor numbers continue to rise over and above the increase for the musical Extravaganza in July.


The Beckery Island trust is formed and ready to take on the restoration of the retained listed buildings. All the remaining buildings are likely to go following a marketing exercise. Work on the road infrastructure etc is scheduled for the new year.

Wearyall Hill

The James family, who own the eastern part of Wearyall Hill, have been unable to find a grazing tenant this year, so the grass has grown long and uneaten. This is very much a sign of the times — a reflection of the state of farming.

Meanwhile the copse and its extension thrive. The view over the Morlands site, especially towards the old Bailys buildings, is particularly interesting.

Glastonbury’s 300 years

The tercentenary of the granting of the charter by Queen Anne, establishing Glastonbury as a borough town, falls next year, 2005, so watch out for special events. It is hoped to restore the Market Cross to commemorate the event.