For many thousands of years Glastonbury has been a watery place with a specific hydrogeology: the entire area is fed by an aquifer, an underground geological formation able to store and yield water (see gallery). Glastonbury’s underground layer of sandstone and various unconsolidated materials like clay, silt and sand form the basis for a huge groundwater storage. Rainwater keeps feeding the aquifer which is tapped by several springs in the area.
One of these springs is Chalice Well, a fresh water spring - 65 million years ago the Somerset Levels were a sandstone plain punctuated by watering holes and rivers: at this specific place the well’s waters constantly percolated down through the porous sandstone impregnated the sandstone round it with its typical characteristics. Over many years the non-treated sandstone plains have eroded away but the impregnated sandstone segments raised from the plains.
This way Chalice Well produced the famous Glastonbury Tor (Celtic: Twr Avallach; Tor meaning “hill”) which is an outstanding feature of the Somerset Levels reaching a height of 158m. The well gradually eased its way down the side of the Tor and settled at the bottom, where it is now surrounded by the Chalice Well Gardens. Glastonbury Tor is formed of horizontally bedded Jurassic strata which is the reason that the Tor eroded much slower than the surrounding clay. The lowest ground of the hill is on Lower Lias clay with some limestone horizons, the slightly higher ground is on the Middle Lias silts and clays, while the main part consists of Upper Lias clays capped by sands known as Tor Burrs.
Chalice Well is famous for its healing powers and also symbolizes the continuous flow of life – for many years it has been flowing at a constant rate even during times of drought.
Traces of settlement have been found in the area around Chalice Well and Glastonbury Tor from the Later Neolithic 2900-2200BC (flint, stone artefacts), the Bronze Age 1400-600BC, the Iron Age 300–200 BC as well as timber structures, hearths, pits and two north/south aligned graves which were interpreted as a post-Roman stronghold or the site of an early Celtic Christian Monastery. Besides the facts many legends are connected to this enchanted place: the Britons called this place Ynys yr Afalon (meaning "The Isle of Avalon"), while other legends speak of Joseph of Arimathea throwing the Holy Chalice in the Chalice Well.
To log this earthcache please find the public tap of the well at the header coordinates and visit and answer the following questions before logging – what is the reason for the specific taste and what are the water’s typical characteristics? send your answers to email@example.com:we would very much appreciate a picture of yourself and/or your GPS
Do not miss the chance to visit Chalice Well Gardens, N51° 08.614' W02° 42.402' : for a small admission you will enter a most peaceful location where you will be able to breathe the enchanted spirit of this phantastic place.