In offering to the public this Handbook of Glastonbury Abbey the author has designed to present in a concise form a body of material of value to the architectural student, and at the same time to deal with this in a manner most likely to be serviceable and attractive to the general reader, or to the visitor who may not be versed in the technicalities of building.
Owing to the very advanced stage of dilapidation in which the fabric has come down to us, there is a difficulty, very serious in the minds of some, in apprehending the true form and extent of the original buildings, and the mutual relation of the fragments now so widely sundered. That difficulty, this handbook is designed to meet as far as may be possible. It is hoped, therefore, that the descriptions it contains may, with the aid of the specially designed illustrations, enable the reader to obtain a good grasp of the general form, and provide a framework in which his memories of the detail of the Ruins may be set.
The diagrams of reconstruction are based upon a careful study of existing remains, and a comparison of many fragments; the light given by a study of contemporary buildings having a certain influence on this work, and that shed by documentary evidence. These, taken together, have furnished data for inductions which it is hoped may prove of value, since they have a logical sanction.
The text has undergone careful revision, and the pictorial projection of the Ruins on the plan is now supplemented by an outline reconstruction of the whole exterior, which whilst largely conjectural may assist the reader in realising something of the ancient proportions of the Abbey Church, and the various periods of the fabric.