Glastonbury Abbey is located in southern Britain and is recognized as a very early Christian holy site. Among other things, it is told that Joseph of Arimathea visited the site in the early days of the first century A.D. during one of his many trips through Britain and France in connection with the tin trade. (It is also told that he had in his company a young boy, very bright and even precocious, who amazed those he met. That is, of course, a story for another pen.) The legend of Joseph’s trip continues that he drove his staff into the ground, and that it was from that spot that the Glastonbury Thorn did grow. The Thorn blossoms twice annually, once in the spring before the new growth comes on, and then again in the autumn late in the year. It is a symbol of constant renewal and hope. To this day, the Glastonbury Thorn is considered a holy tree, and a bough from the tree is delivered by a child of the kingdom to the reigning monarch at Buckingham Palace every year on Christmas Day. Sadly, this will be the first time in seventy years that the bough will not be received by HRM Queen Elizabeth.
The Glastonbury site is also of special consequence, as it is the burial site of Arthur and Guinevere. An ancient stone marks the spot, and an oaken tomb has been unearthed which dates appropriately with the stories of Arthurian legend. Interestingly, Glastonbury was known anciently as “Avalon.”
The Glastonbury Abbey Pen reflects the stories of the site most notably with the hand cut thorn branches and five-petal blossoms that adorn the cap and body. Gothic windows in the cap with transparent red “stained glass” are situated between buttresses so that the nib can be seen when the pen is capped. In keeping with the style of medieval brass tomb plates, the body also includes figures of Arthur and Guinevere. A red Maltese-style Templar cross in high-temp glass enamel, and a decorated nib featuring a fleur-de-lis are Templar symbols added in deference to the generations of people who found hope in the promise of the grail legends, or the search for “Holy Blood.”
Structurally, the nickel silver metalwork on the pen, all handcrafted, is built up on black acrylic with a red resin cap sleeve. A JoWo #6 broad nib and converter fill system complete the function of the pen.