Glastonbury and the last Abbot of Glastonbury ~ Roberta Eaton

Glastonbury Tor, then site of Abbot Whiting’s execution. Image: Sue Vincent

About Glastonbury

Glastonbury was initially inhabited by stone age farmers. In 1892 the iron-age village near Glastonbury, now known as Glastonbury Lake Village, was discovered by a young medical student called Arthur Bulleid. The village was first constructed in approximately 250 B.C. by creating a base of timber and clay on which roundhouses were build. The village was abandoned about 50 B.C. possibly due to rising water levels.

Glastonbury is thought to have started as a small settlement which grew into a town after the Abbey was founded in the 7th century by the Saxons. The original stone church was enlarged in the 10th century by St. Dunstan who became the Abbot of Glastonbury and then the Archbishop of Canterbury in 960.

After the invasion and conquest of England by the Normans in 1066, the church was bettered by the addition of magnificent buildings. In 1086, when the Domesday Book was commission to provide records and a census of life in England, Glastonbury Abbey was the richest monastery in the country.

In 1184, the Abbey was destroyed by fire and reconstruction commenced almost immediately with the Lady Chapel, including the well, being consecrated in 1186. There is a school of thought that believes that in order to raise extra funds from pilgrims to rebuild the Abbey, the monks dug for the remains of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere and the bones from two bodies were raised from a deep grave in the cemetery on the south side of the Lady Chapel. The find is not considered to be authentic.

Glastonbury Abbey. Image: Sue Vincent

Glastonbury Abbey in the 14th and 15th century

During the 14th century, Glastonbury Abbey was once again wealthy. This is attested to by the building of the Abbot’s Kitchen by Abbot John de Breynton and which formed part of the magnificent Abbot’s house. This kitchen has survived the passage of time and is now one of the best-preserved medieval kitchens in Europe.

The dissolution of Glastonbury Abbey

In September 1539, Glastonbury Abbey fell victim to the dissolution of the monasteries implemented by King Henry VIII in order to restore his squandered fortune. The Abbey was stripped of its valuables and its reigning Abbot, Richard Whiting, was hanged, drawn and quartered as a traitor to the crown. His sentence was a result of his refusing to denounce Rome and the Pope in favour of King Henry VIII as head of the Church.

Grave site of King Arthur and Guinevere? Image: Sue Vincent

What does this have to do with my writing?

While I was researching the history of Bungay town during my writing of While the Bombs Fell, I discovered that a local and ancient Inn was thought to be haunted by approximately forty ghosts. This was sufficiently interesting for me to undertake some research on who the ghosts were thought to be. One of the phantom’s is believed to be a monk although I couldn’t find much information about him or how and why he died as became a ghost.

My research on the ghosts of Bungay let to my writing Through the Nethergate which I have just finished editing and which will be available in early September this year.

I am not entirely sure why I decided that it would be an interesting addition if the monk were to have grown up in Bungay and have gone to Glastonbury Abbot as a Benedictine oblate to study towards becoming a monk but that is where I ended up with the monk’s story.

Quite by accident I discovered that the nursery rhyme called Little Jack Horner is rumoured to have been about Thomas Horner, who was the steward to Richard Whiting before his death. There is a myth that during the December of 1538, prior to the destruction of the Abbey, Richard Whiting sent Horner to London with a large Christmas pie as a gift for the king. The pie contained the deeds to twelve manor houses, one of which was the manor of Mells in Somerset which Thomas Horner ended up owning after the nationalization of the Church lands. The story goes that Horner opened the pie during the journey and took out the deeds to the manor of Mells which he kept for himself.

This interesting story led to my writing a story about a monk who is the companion to Richard Whiting and who accompanied Thomas Horner on his journey to deliver the pie. This story became The murder of the monk which features in Death Among Us, along with two other historical stories of mine.

I thought it was quite interesting that this story originated from an old English nursery rhyme and its related theoretical origin.

About Death Among Us

Who knew death could be so eclectic?
Relish this mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up of short stories.

The stories include the 2019 SIA Award-Winning Murder Mystery Short Story ‘The Rose Slayer.’

Murder and mystery have been the staple of literature and films for years. This anthology of short stories will thrill and entertain you. Some will also make you laugh out loud. Others will stop and make you think.

Think of this murder mystery short story anthology as a book version of appetizers or starters, hors d’oeuvre, meze, or antipasti. It can be read as fillers between books or, as is the case in some countries, as a bookish meze – in its own right.

These stories come from an international cast of authors; some with bestselling books, others are emerging or new talents. Their roots, cultures, and life experiences are as diverse as their writing styles.

But one thing binds them together: they know how to tell a story.

There’s murder mystery styles and locations to suit all tastes: detective fiction, serial killers, scifi, histfic, Paris, LA, England, the Caribbean, The Great Lakes, and more in an exquisite exposition of the art of short story telling.

The eleven authors who have contributed to the anthology are:

  • Stephen Bentley
  • Greg Alldredge
  • Kelly Artieri
  • Brenda Mohammed
  • Lee Kane
  • Michael Spinelli
  • Sansriti Johri
  • Robbie Cheadle
  • Kay Castaneda
  • Justin Bauer
  • Aly Locatelli

Each author introduces his or her stories and the theme that lies behind them.By the time you finish the book, you will agree the result is a mesmerizing murder mystery mash-up.

Pre-Order your copy at Amazon US

About the author

Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with five published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton).

All of Robbie’s children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications. Robbie has recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differentiate her children’s books from her adult writing, these will be published under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie has two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

Find and follow Roberta Eaton

Roberta Writes Blog     Twitter    Facebook

While the Bombs Fell

TSL Publications     Lulu

What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?

Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite the war raging across the English channel, daily life continues with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its wary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.

Includes some authentic World War 2 recipes.

Robbie also writes as Robbie  Cheadle

Robbie’s Inspiration Blog      Goodreads    Facebook    YouTube

Amazon author page   Twitter: @bakeandwrite

Books by Robbie and Michael Cheadle

The Sir Chocolate books are a delightful marriage of story, verse and cookery

… a perfect recipe for sharing with children.  Silly Willy goes to Cape Town tells the adventures of two very different brothers…and includes five party cake ideas.

You can purchase the Sir Chocolate books from:

Amazon    TSL Books

or you can buy them in South Africa directly from the authors by emailing Robbie Cheadle at

Launching a new book ?

If you are a writer, artist or photographer…If you have a poem, story or memoirs to share… If you have a book to promote, a character to introduce, an exhibition or event to publicise… If you have advice for writers, artists or bloggers…

If you would like to be my guest, please read the guidelines and get in touch!


About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in Guest post, Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Glastonbury and the last Abbot of Glastonbury ~ Roberta Eaton

  1. As someone from a relatively young country compared to England, I find the history fascinating, Robbie. King Henry VIII wasn’t a very nice guy! Funny, how the nursery rhymes we sing with such laughter and joy have a darker beginning.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you, Sue, for having me over. Much appreciated as always.


  3. memadtwo says:

    In research one thing always leads to another! And if ghosts are involved, all the better. (K)

    Liked by 3 people

  4. willowdot21 says:

    Great to read more about you and writings Robbie 💜💜💜

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Pingback: Glastonbury and the last Abbot of Glastonbury – Roberta Writes

  6. Thanks again, Sue. For some reason there is no reblog button so I have done a ping back instead.


  7. Mae Clair says:

    That is an extremely fascinating history, Robbie. I think you know that I love research, so I’m intrigued by how you plan to weave your own into your book. And, wow, you have three stories in an anthology. It looks awesome! I pre-ordered.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Darlene says:

    It’s amazing how research can inspire us! Love all the historical detail here.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Vashti Q says:

    It always amazes me how writers come up with their stories. Happy coincidence: I have a haunted monastery and the ghosts of several monks in the 3rd installment of my Fantasy Angels Series! Your murder mystery anthology reads fascinating. I look forward to reading it. 😀 xo

    Liked by 3 people

  10. jenanita01 says:

    fascinating history behind the popular history, Robbie. Glastonbury is an astonishing place, I always come away fully inspired!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. tidalscribe says:

    I love Glastonbury, though i’ve only visited a few times, it is unique. A friend’s son had a hotel there for a while and an author came to stay so she could steep herself in inspiration for her historic novels!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am so jealous, Janet. It is high on my “to do” list. The Bronte Museum was a bit higher so that is on the agenda for this trip and the Edinburgh ghost tour. I also have to give the “boys” some choices as that is fair so we are also seeing a train museum and going to Harry Potter.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    I will leave you with something spooky before I head to bed.. Robbie Cheadle and the history of Glastonbury… a very haunted local inn and the new anthology Death Among Us….

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Yay, Robbie! What a cool place to research and set a story at!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. This sounds really interesting, but I have so many books I’m supposed to read, I dare not take on another. I’m swamped. But should I ever dig out from under …

    Liked by 2 people

  15. A fascinating bit of history, Robbie. I could imagine someone trying to take advantage of Arthur and Guinevere. One can travel all over the British Isles and see amazing ruins as a result of HenryVIII demanding the end to loyalty to the pope.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thank s for having Robbe over today, Sue

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Enjoyable and interesting post, Robbie. I must add it has been a joy working alongside you, and the other authors, on our anthology, Death Among Us.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. dgkaye says:

    Fabulous insight Robbie. Thank you. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.