Glastonbury

The Glastonbury Town Deal has secured £23.6 million investment for the town, representing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver the objectives outlined in the Town Investment Plan

St Brigid’s Chapel and Field

Lead Organisation: Friends of St Bride's Mound, South West Heritage Trust and Somerset Wildlife Trust

Creation of new, year-round meeting and activity Round House that will protect, interpret and make accessible the heritage and natural environment of some 33 acres.

Funding

  • Towns Fund:  £0.67m
  • Co-Funding:  £0.06m

Outcomes

  • Enhance an historic site
  • Bring more visitors to an historic site as part of Glastonbury tourist trail

Key Project Themes

  • Tackle Climate Change
  • Improve Health and Wellbeing
  • Enhanced Cultural Offer and Branding
  • Address COVID-19 Recovery

Rationale

  • Addresses need to make the heritage and natural environment of the site accessible, as it is difficult to visit and poorly signed.
  • Addresses anxiety levels generated as a result of COVID-19 by providing an oasis of wellbeing.

Project Summary

This unique landscape has at its heart the earliest monastic remains ever found in Britain. A nationally significant Scheduled Ancient Monument, this historical site is of great importance to Christians and Pagans alike.

Now, in partnership with the Friends of Bride’s Mound, South West Heritage Trust and Somerset Wildlife, the Glastonbury Town Deal will create a new visitor destination to protect, interpret and make accessible the heritage and natural environment of the St Brigid’s Chapel and Field sites – together known as Beckery and spanning 33 acres.

Local stone will be used to mark out the footprint of Beckery Chapel and Priest’s House, enabling visitors to visualise the former monastic buildings.

Nature-rich habitats and biodiversity will be enhanced, with a wildflower meadow and wellbeing garden being planted for visitors and wildlife to enjoy, plus further planting in the orchard at Chapel Field.

A new visitor building, the Round House, will be available for meetings and activities and will include heritage and wildlife information panels. Better paths and signage plus a new car park will improve overall accessibility to the site.

The St Brigid’s Chapel and Field project aims to bring to life this ancient place of pilgrimage, telling the stories of Beckery’s legends, heritage and natural history, enhancing its wildlife and creating an oasis of wellbeing.

 

Project FAQs

Who are the partners working together to improve the St Brigid’s Chapel & Field site?
The partners for this project are made up of a group of three organisations: The Friends of Bride’s Mound, The South West Heritage Trust and the Somerset Wildlife Trust.

Why is this particular site in the Beckery area of Glastonbury important?
The focus of the St Brigid’s Chapel and Field project is a unique landscape which has, at its heart, the earliest monastic remains ever found archaeologically in Britain. Additionally, this is historically a place of pilgrimage centred on St Brigid (St Bride) and we want to tell this story, along with highlighting the importance of the natural biodiversity of this 33-acre site.

How much money did the government give this project?
The St Brigid’s Chapel & Field project has been awarded £673K by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

What are they hoping to achieve with this project?
Their aim is to bring this ancient pilgrimage place to life, telling its stories, enhancing its wildlife and creating an oasis of wellbeing. Enhanced public access will enable a wide range of educational and volunteering opportunities, as well as connecting the sites to the wider landscape through cycle and footpath access, with the facilities being at the hub of green network routes that reach out from Glastonbury, including to the Avalon Marshes.

Will the site be accessible to all abilities?
Yes. This project includes the introduction of ‘All Ability’ pathways with disabled access gates to allow wheelchairs, mobility scooters and other wheeled buggies to gain access to the St Bride’s Centre building. You will also be able to access the Chapel Field and up to the top of the Chapel Mound where the footprint of the early chapel will be displayed.