The Glastonbury Giant: Who Did the Mystery Bones of A Nine Foot Skeleton Belong To?

When investigating whether or not there were giants in the past, one story that has endured the test of time is that of the supposed discovery of the “Glastonbury Giant.” This giant was supposedly unearthed in 1190 at the behest of King Henry II, who was responding to rumors that the legendary King Arthur was in fact buried at that particular location. The rumor that Arthur was buried there came about as a result of speculation that Arthur had been buried there. In this location, between two ancient pillars in the shape of pyramids at Glastonbury in Somerset, England, workers dug down to a depth of seven feet, where they found a leaden cross with the inscription: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”

Glastonbury Cross. (Kiyoweap / Public Domain )

This discovery prompted the excavators to dig even further in the hope of finding substantial evidence of the existence of the legend, and at a depth of sixteen feet, they finally came across a large coffin that had been hollowed out from the trunk of an old oak tree. Inside, they found the skeletal remains of a man who had once measured close to nine feet tall, laid out next to the skeleton of a woman of average size who was thought to be Guinevere, Arthur’s Queen at the time. The man had once measured close to nine feet tall. Skeletons that measure nine feet tall have been discovered all over the world, with the United States of America being particularly rich in examples of skeletons that fall into this category. This topic is covered in greater depth in J.P. Robinson’s book The Myth of Man.

King Arthur’s Connection to Glastonbury and Glastonbury Abbey

It is said that their bones were reinterred in the church located at that location approximately one hundred years later, directly in front of the altar, and in the presence of King Edward I. It was at that time that Glastonbury’s long association with the Arthurian legends was cemented in history, despite the fact that opposing arguments claim that the inscribed leaden cross must have been placed there much later than the original grave, as it was buried nine feet above the actual coffin. This is despite the fact that the cross was buried nine feet above the actual coffin.

Site of what was supposed to be the grave of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere on the grounds of former Glastonbury Abbey, Somerset, UK. (Thor NL / CC BY-SA 3.0 )​​

Many people held the opinion that the cross must be a hoax, and that it was probably placed there by the monks of the nearby Benedictine Abbey in an effort to bring fame to the abbey and the surrounding area by persuading the local nobility to make donations in support of such a revered location where the body of one of England’s most famous historical figures was laid to rest.

There is no debate regarding the existence of a Giant.

The actual find of a giant figure is not really up for debate, as the esteemed historian Giraldus Cambrensis personally examined the massive bones in 1194 and he pronounced them to be genuine. This is despite the fact that a gravestone purported to be Arthur’s was found in the same area at the same time. Dr. Ralegh Radford, an archaeologist, investigated the ancient giant remains in 1962 and 1963, after additional excavations at the site, and he “confirmed that a prominent personage had indeed been buried there at the period in question.” This occurred several centuries after the initial discovery of the site.

Therefore, regardless of whether or not the bones belonged to the mythical King Arthur, it appears that the skeletal remains of a male who stood nine feet tall were uncovered at Glastonbury nearly a thousand years ago. This discovery breathes new life into the concept of giants in folklore.

Who can say for sure what other amazing findings lie dormant beneath the surface of the ground, just waiting to be found?

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