This film is part of Free

Glastonbury past and Present

Druids, kings and mystics - rekindling the ancient spirit of Glastonbury.

Documentary 1922 68 mins Silent


In the shadow of the Glastonbury Tor, locals re-enact their town's history: from the early Mendip encampments, through King Alfred's defeat of the Danes, to a more contemporary staging of the Michaelmas Fair. The film was the brainchild of writer and teacher Alice Buckton (1867-1944) who was devoted to preserving the region's rich historic legacy. Look out for her in the opening shots.

Alice Buckton was one of the founding members of the 'New Avalonians', a movement that emerged in the 20s to research, preserve and celebrate Glastonbury's rich past. Other members included writer and spiritualist Wellesley Tudor Pole (grandfather of punk singer and actor Edward Tudor Pole). A contemporary article in The Times described the ambitious Glastonbury Past and Present as "the first film record of the history of a British town".