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THE TRIBUNAL

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  GLASTONBURY LAKE VILLAGE MUSEUM, TRIBUNAL HOUSE, GLASTONBURY TRIBUNAL
DESCRIPTION + /

The Tribunal is a late medieval town house in Glastonbury High Street now in use as a museum. The house is stone built on two storeys. The doorway on the High Street leads into a screens passage, to the side of which is a front room. There are also a middle and back room on the ground floor. Above is a front and back room. To the rear are the remains of a long, enclosed, burgage tenement with a well. The earliest part of the present building dates from the early 15th century; the facade was altered in the early 16th century. The house was formerly reputed to be the courthouse or "tribunal" of the abbots of Glastonbury, but it is more likley that it was used by one of the abbott's officials. It was also said to have been during the Monmouth Rebellion trials by Judge Jefferies. The street facade was inserted to replace a timber front by Abbot Bere, who was Abbot of Glastonbury from 1493 to 1521. After the Dissolution it became a dwelling, and a wing was added at the back. The burgage plot at the back of the house is now a garden. A small scale excavation was carried out in 1992 adjacent to the west wall of The Tribunal. This revealed evidence of a timber building of probable 12th century date below later medieval stone foundations. The excavation confirms that the middle room on the ground floor is best seen as an infill and stairwell between two existing free standing buildings. They suggest that the back room on the ground floor was a kitchen separated from the main house as a fire safety precaution. The building is now (2008) in use as a museum and Tourist Information Centre. It is in the care of the Secretary of State through English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.