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Glastonbury Chalice Well, White Spring & Wearyall Hill

What to expect for visitors - make an informed visit

Chalice Well Glastonbury

Holy Grail Legend: Chalice Well at Glastonbury

Chalice Well

According to legend the Chalice Well is believed to have sprung from the ground at the location where the chalice (the Holy Grail), that Jesus drank from at the Last Supper and in which drops of His blood were caught during the Crucifixion was placed.


The sacred vessel is believed to have been placed into the well by 'Joseph of Arimathea'. (See our Glastonbury myths and legends page for the interwoven legends of Glastonbury.)


The well itself is thought to have been built by the Druids, and that the water the gushes from it, reddish in colour and tasting of iron, has been claimed to have magical powers.

The colour of the water and the taste according to legend is said to symbolise the iron nails that were used at the Crucifixion. Visitors can still drink the water which is today believed to possess healing properties.


For others with a more mystical, pagan outlook the waters are acknowledged as the essence of life, the gift from Mother Earth to sustain its living forms. There are events that take place through the year at Chalice Wells for followers of this outlook.


The famous well is located at the back of the ample garden, and there are benches located throughout for relaxing and taking in the beauty, contemplation and meditation. The water flows through the garden and there is a small pool where you can paddle or bathe in the waters.


Chalice Well is located just east of Glastonbury and is on the marked way from the town centre to Glastonbury Tor. The White Spring is in a straight line just yards from Chalice Well at the foot of the climb to Glastonbury Tor. It is run as a trust and there is a relatively small admission charge.


Chalice Well has the feel of being run by enthusiasts with a passion for the place, rather than operating as a hard nosed tourist destination aimed at parting visitors from their money.

The White Spring

The White Spring Glastonbury

The White Spring Glastonbury

Less than 100 metres from the Chalice Well, famous for its red water, flows a second and uniquely related well, the 'White spring'. The white spring is a calcium and energy rich well that flows up at the foot of Glastonbury Tor.


So we have two springs, one, tasting sweet with calcium, leaves a white trail. The other, tasting metallic with iron leaves its mark in red. Both have healing properties in their flow to believers.

Unlike Chalice Wells this spring has not been protected. At the moment it's in the hands of enthusiasts trying to resurrect the well into a 'temple'.


The spring used to be a Victorian reservoir, and a water source for the town of Glastonbury. The buildings from this that enclose the spring are being upgraded to make it a Temple, as attractive as Chalice Well next door.


In true Temple tradition no-one is charged or paid. Keepers and custodians, artists and craftspeople, give their time and work freely. As a result there is limited but regular opening hours.

The White Spring is found at the base of Glastonbury Tor, just a few yards up West House Lane from its junction with the A361 road, adjacent to Chalice Well. The start of the climb up to Glastonbury Tor is at this junction as well.

Thorn  Bush On Wearyall Hill

Wearyall Hill: location of legendary Thorn Bush

Wearyall Hill

Wearyall Hill is a long narrow ridge to the south west of Glastonbury. On the hill is the Holy Thorn. The original was said to have blossomed from the staff of Joseph of Armithea whom legend says he visited Glastonbury, (see our Glastonbury myths and legends page). He arrived, weary (hence Wearyall Hill), planted his staff in the ground and it immediately blossomed.

The tree was seen as sacred, blossoming at Christmas and Easter, marking the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Wearyall Hill is just 5/10 minutes' walk from the centre of Glastonbury. Just walk down Magdalene Street south to meet the A361 road and then turn right along the A361 towards Street. Cross to the southern side of the road and when the houses finish, you will see the footpath slanting up the hill. Note this is not a properly made footpath, it is not suitable for wheelchairs, prams etc.


You can drive up to the top of the hill, but it's a very narrow road (Hill Head, see map below), with very limited parking. Best to leave your car in the housing estate along Tor View Avenue and walk up Hill Head.

Each year a sprig of thorn is cut, by the local Anglican vicar and the eldest child from St John's School, and sent to the Queen.


Many other examples of the thorn grow throughout Glastonbury including those in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey, St Johns Church and Chalice Well. The picture above is of the Thorn in Glastonbury Abbey.

Map of Nain Sights At Glastonbury

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