The Company of Avalon
In the early 1900s, Frederick Bligh Bond was retained by the trustees of Glastonbury Abbey to carry out archaeological research into the ruins the Abbey. Unbeknown to the Abbey trustees, Bligh Bond working with his friend John Alleyn made contact, through automatic psychic writing, with a group of long dead monks who he called the “Company of Avalon”. He believed that these were a group of souls who had lived as monks at various times during the life of the Abbey and who were committed to helping the re-emergence of Glastonbury as a great spiritual centre. These monks gave him useful directions on where to dig and he discovered a number of previously unknown portions of the Abbey foundations.In the preface to his book ‘The Company of Avalon’ Bligh Bond writes –
“So it is, we are told, with the Company of Avalon, a group of souls who are impregnated with the devotional ideal which was translated into architectural symbol by the Benedictine brethren of oldtime. These, the ‘Elect of Avalon’, combine as a united spiritual force in an effort which is really one of response to those of us who, of or own volition, have attuned ourselves to their ‘vibrations’. But being themselves for the most part so far removed in condition from modes of physical expression of the truths they would seek to convey, they choose as spokespersons some who, though liberated in spirit and of their Company, have retained such sympathy with earth and the dwellers on earth that they are able through mutual sympathy to creep to us across the ‘Bridge of Love’ and, entering our atmosphere and conditions of consciousness speak to us through the mediumship of one or other whose organism us attuned to psychical responsiveness”
We see from Bligh Bond’s words, how he is trying to convey the meaning of his communications with this company of physically departed monks, in a manner which would be acceptable to the church of his day. Sadly his efforts failed as his contract was terminated by the trustees who felt that they could not condone the use of psychic mediums on Hallowed Ground.
In the early part of the Twentieth Century there had been a number of prominent ‘New Age’ figures in Glastonbury who have been called ‘Avalonians’. In addition to Bligh Bond, there number included Dion Fortune, Wesley Tudor Pole, Alice Buckton and Rutland Boughton. Many of these Avalonians were also aware of the psychic presence of long dead monks - monks who were available to them as a real and present inspiration. They used different names but they seem to be referring to the same entities.
Dion Fortune - wrote in her book “Avalon of the Heart”.
“Mediaeval piety and learning are in the very air of Glastonbury. The stones of the Abbey are overthrown, but its spirit lives on like a haunting presence, and many have seen its ghost”.
Alice Buckton, who owned the Chalice Well in Glastonbury from 1912 until her death in 1943. She shared the belief in what she called the ‘Watchers of Avalon’ – the heavenly company of one time monks who were overseeing the spiritual rebirth of Glastonbury and England.
So there was a strong belief in the guiding hands of these long departed monks.
Bligh Bond said that in the psychic writings which he had recorded, the monks claimed that one day the great Abbey of Glaston would be rebuilt. The concept was that it had been possible to destroy the original Abbey because it was imperfect. The new Abbey would be wholly appropriate to its time, would no longer suffer from imperfection and would be a spiritual beacon to the entire world. There was also a legend that Austin Ringwood, one of the last of the Abbey monks, had forecast that:
‘One day the great Abbey of Glaston will be rebuilt – and when this is done, peace will reign upon the earth for a thousand years”