Temple of the Stars

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The Temple of the Stars is an alleged ancient temple claimed to be situated around Glastonbury in Somerset, England.


The temple is claimed by some to depict a colossal landscape zodiac, a map of the stars on a gigantic scale, formed by features in the landscape (roads, streams, field boundaries, etc.). The theory was first put forward in 1934 by Katherine Maltwood, an artist who "discovered" the zodiac in a vision, and held that the "temple" was created by Sumerians in about 2700 BC.[1] The idea was revived in 1969 by Mary Caine in an article in the magazine Gandalf's Garden (number 4).[2] Compared to Maltwood's version, she turned Scorpio upside down, added a monk to Gemini, and altered the outlines of Capricorn, Libra, and Leo.

The temple plays an important role in many occult theories. It has been associated with the Grail legend, Uther Pendragon, and King Arthur (according to some legends buried in Glastonbury).


The idea was examined by two independent studies, one by Ian Burrow in 1975 [3] and the other in 1983 by Tom Williamson and Liz Bellamy,[4] using the standard methods of landscape historical research. Both studies concluded that the evidence contradicted the idea. The eye of Capricorn identified by Maltwood was a haystack. The western wing of the Aquarius phoenix was a road laid in 1782 to run around Glastonbury, and older maps dating back to the 1620s show the road had no predecessors. The Cancer boat (not a crab as would be expected) is made up of a network of eighteenth century drainage ditches and paths. There are some Neolithic paths preserved in the peat of the bog formerly comprising most of the area, but none of the known paths match the lines of the zodiac features.

Glastonbury historian Geoffrey Ashe commented, "The phenomenon is akin to the Rorschach ink-blot test, or to seeing pictures in a fire", and "Zodiac-finders do not themselves agree on these 'obvious figures'. I have studied these photographs; I know what I am meant to see; I honestly try to see, and I simply do not."[5]

There is no support for this theory, or for the existence of the "temple" in any form, from conventional archaeologists or mainstream historians.[6]


  1. ^ Maltwood, K. E. A Guide to Glastonbury’s Temple of the Stars: Their Giant Effigies Described From Air Views, Maps, and From "The High History of the Holy Grail" (London, The Women’s Printing Society, Ltd., 1934). Her next book on the subject matter, Air View Supplement To A Guide To Glastonbury’s Temple of The Stars was published in 1937.
  2. ^ "Glastonbury Zodiac, Mary Caine, Gandalf's Garden".
  3. ^ Ian Burrow, Somerset’s Planning Department staff archeologist, concluded that "while the outlines of the effigies may be plotted today, their antiquity is illusory" [1]
  4. ^ Tom Williamson, Liz Bellamy, Ley Lines In Question, pages 162-168. (Tadworth, UK: World's Work, 1983). ISBN 0-437-19205-9
  5. ^ Geoffrey Ashe, Avalonian Quest (London: Methuen in association with Fontana Paperbacks, 1982). ISBN 0-413-48800-4
  6. ^ Rahtz, Phillip; Watts, Lorna (2003). Glastonbury Myth and archaeology. Stroud: Tempus. pp. 65–66. ISBN 978-0752425481.

Further reading[edit]

  • Brinsley le Poer Trench (1962) Temple of the Stars
  • Katherine E. Maltwood (1935) A Guide to Glastonbury's Temple of the Stars
  • Peter James & Nick Thorpe (1999) Ancient Mysteries, Ballantine Books, New York, pp 298–304
  • Reiser, Oliver L (1974) This Holyest Erthe: The Glastonbury Zodiac and King Arthur's Camelot, Perennial Books
  • Brian Haughton, Haunted Spaces, Sacred Places: A Field Guide To Stone Circles, Crop Circles, Ancient Tombs, and Supernatural Landscapes (NJ: The Career Press, 2008). ISBN 978-1-60163-000-1
  • Slaine (1986),Temple of the Stars,2000AD Comic, Prog 493, 25 Oct 1986

External links[edit]