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The George and Pilgrim Pub in Glastonbury

29 December 2012
Mark was adamant that the pub culture in England is far different to anything I’d ever experienced in Australia. “Oh you won’t believe it Claire”, he would rave about to me on more than one occasion. How could it be I wondered, smiling back at his glorious face with the lightheartedness of a kitten? A pub is just a pub where one pops out for a few drinks on a Friday or Saturday night right?

“You’re just biased about your younger single drinking days”, I teased.

Well how wrong I was about to be proved, for when we arrived in Glastonbury, absolutely famished after our adventure at Avebury Stone Circle, we popped into the legendary pub there for lunch, called the George and Pilgrim and I began to understand exactly what Mark was talking about. It was filled with an uncanny bustle of community spirit and merriment, I had only seen rarely before in small Australian country towns, where everyone knows everyone else.

On top of that, it was built in the 1400s and I was completely in awe that it was actually older than the whole of Australia! I felt this uncanny connection to history like an awakening of some kind with both curiosity and homeliness rising up inside of me and was also captivated by the warmth not only of the open fire crackling and reflecting shadows on the stunning stained glass windows, but by the cheery ambience of English conversation and laughter which filled the entire bar, although it was freezing cold and gloomy grey outside.

Naturally being in such an archaic place, our conversation became focused on the spirits of those who had passed on over the centuries here. This pub was so old, there were bound to be some scary stories we decided and later we found out that Cathy the owner had some stories of her own she’d even shared with the press.

She said that at night you could clearly see orbs on the CCTV in the bar and apparently there was a woman who fell for one of the monks at Glastonbury Abbey long ago.

“They fell in love”, she said. “But because of his vows, they couldn’t be together”.

“He ended up being walled up in one of the tunnels that led between the pub and the abbey and while they couldn’t be together in life, they are together in death”.

You can even see a photo taken capturing what she believes to be the ghost of the woman in love with the monk here:- the ghostly photograph from the George and Pilgrim in Glastonbury

She goes on to say that she has worked in a number of pubs over the years, some of which were “very spooky”, but said the George and Pilgrim was one of the most active pubs she has ever worked in.

“We have guests telling us they could hear harp music coming from empty rooms, TVs turning on and off in the middle of the night and coughs and footsteps in the cellar”, she said.

England was certainly bringing up a whole now interest with the paranormal for both of us, simply because of the sheer history of the place. I was beginning to realize that for the first time in my life, I was home at last, being both mesmerized by the beauty and captivated by the history as well. No wonder Mark couldn’t wait to come home again, I smiled, for at last I completely understood that there are some things that words are just not enough to share the truth about. You actually have to be there to really get with your soul.

Mark + Claire xx