and Royal Magdalene Almshouses

History

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This group of buildings dates back to around the 11th Century, when Glastonbury was a major pilgrimage destination. It was at first a Hospital for up to 13 sick men with a Chapel (all paid for by Queen Margaret of Scotland).

Two rows of Men’s Almshouses replaced the Hospital in the 16th Century, but one row was demolished in the 1960s – its foundations are under the garden.

The Mary and Margaret Charity completed a large refurbishment and repair programme in 2012, including a new stone courtyard wall and disabled access WC, and a new West garden.

This year’s plans for the almshouses include completing the existing exhibition space, and recreating a historic almshouse interior.


St Margaret

St Margaret of Scotland Queen consort of Scotland; tenure 1070-€“1093
Spouse: Malcolm III of Scotland m. 1070
Born c. 1045 Hungary Died 16 November 1093 Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Queen Margaret of Scotland, was an English princess of the House of Wessex. Born in exile in Hungary, she was the sister of Edgar Ætheling, the short-ruling and uncrowned Anglo-Saxon King of England. Margaret and her family returned to England in 1057, but fled to the Kingdom of Scotland following the Norman conquest of England of 1066. Around 1070 Margaret married Malcolm III of Scotland, becoming his queen consort.

She was a pious woman, and among many charitable works she established a ferry across the Firth of Forth for pilgrims travelling to Dunfermline Abbey, which gave the towns of South Queensferry and North Queensferry their names. Margaret was the mother of three kings of Scotland and a queen consort of England.

According to the Life of Saint Margaret, attributed to Turgot of Durham, she died at Edinburgh Castle in 1093, just days after receiving the news of her husband’s death in battle. In 1250 she was canonised by Pope Innocent IV, and her remains were reinterred in a shrine at Dunfermline Abbey.

Margaret’s biographer credits her with having a civilizing influence on her husband Malcolm by reading him stories from the Bible. Due to these achievements, she was considered an exemplar of the just ruler, and influenced her son David I.

Mary Magdalene

Icon of St Mary Magdalene Mary Magdalene or Mary of Magdala and sometimes The Magdalene, was one of Jesus’ most celebrated disciples, and the most important female disciple in the movement of Jesus. Jesus cleansed her of seven demons, [Lu 8:2] [Mk 16:9] sometimes interpreted as referring to complex illnesses. She became Jesus’ close friend and was most prominent during his last days. When Jesus was crucified by the Romans, Mary Magdalene was there supporting him. She stayed with him at the cross after the male disciples (excepting John the Beloved) had fled. She was at his burial.

In all four New Testament Gospels, Mary Magdalene is the first to arrive at Jesus’ tomb, where she encounters an angel who instructs her to go tell the disciples that Jesus has risen. She was the first person to see Jesus after his Resurrection, according to both John 20 and Mark 16:9.

Because of her pivotal role in the Resurrection, she became known as the apostle to the apostles. Mary Magdalene is considered by the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches to be a saint, with a feast day of July 22. The Eastern Orthodox churches also commemorate her on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers, the Orthodox equivalent of the Western Three Marys. In apocryphal texts, Mary is portrayed as a visionary and leader of the early movement whom Jesus loved more than he loved the other disciples. Several Gnostic gospels, such as the Gospel of Mary, written in the early 2nd century, see Mary as the special disciple of Jesus who has a deeper understanding of his teachings and is asked to impart this to the other disciples.