In 1184, Glastonbury Abbey experienced a terrible fire that ruined several of it's precious relics and shrines. The old wooden Church that was a part of the Abbey was completely destroyed; and because of all the destruction, the Abbey lost a significant amount of prestige as well as money. Though they received financial help from King Henry II after the incident, the support was short-lived due to the unexpected death of the King. When Richard I took the King's place, he cut his financial support for the monastery and instead invested in crusades. Now with no support, Glastonbury Abbey needed to find a way to bring in more pilgrims, which would gain their prestige and the money they needed.
King Arthur's Grave: Edit
In 1191, two years after the death of King Henry II, the monks of Glastonbury Abbey came upon a tomb that appeared to be the resting place of the renowned Arthur of the Round Table. Some legends say that a bard told King Henry II that Arthur was buried in the Abbey's cemetery, and that just before he died he sent word to the Glastonbury monks to find this prophesied tomb. As predicted, they (apparently) found Arthur and his wife, Guinevere, buried in an oak coffin 16 feet deep into the grave itself. Above it was a stone slab with a leaden cross attached underneath (rather than on top as was usual). Upon the leaden cross, it said in Latin: "Here lies buried the famous King Arthur, buried on the Isle of Avalon." If this were indeed Arthur's resting place, Avalon would then actually be the same as Glastonbury.
Mysteriously, all of the evidence for this phenomenon has disappeared. When a monk reached in to grab a lock of golden hair that was assumed to have belonged to Guinevere, the hair immediately turned to dust. After being ravaged by soldiers or passed down and somehow misplaced, all of the articles of proof for King Arthur's tomb are no longer here. Many say that it was a scam for the monastery in order to receive prestige and pilgrimage, which is a strong possibility.