The Temple Publications

The Temple


GWYN - Ancient god of Glastonbury and key to the Glastonbury Zodiac, is the debut book written and illustrated by Glastonbury based artist and researcher, Yuri Leitch. Adorned with many of his own beautiful illustrations, and quotes from arcane medieval Welsh manuscripts, the author hopes that this book will educate, uplift and inspire the reader's imagination.

'Gwyn' is the culmination of six years of contemplation, historical research and investigation into the sacred landscape of Somerset's unique landmark, Glastonbury Tor.

To the ancient Britons, this isle in the marshes, later named 'Glastonbury' by the Saxons, was known as Ynys Witrin or (The Glass Isle). This was their beloved sacred ground, the threshold of 'Annwn' - (their 'Otherworld' paradise.) Gwyn was the protective warrior god of 'Ynys Witrin' and the British 'Lord of Paradise'.

The book takes the reader back to the beginning of the 1st century - to the tribal society of the Native Britons specific to this area; the tribe that are known to us as the Durotriges. We glimpse their spiritual world by looking at The Children of Don; the Durotriges’ pantheon of gods, goddesses and specifically Gwyn ap Nudd, the ancient god of Glastonbury. By doing this, we begin to understand Ynys Witrin as their most sacred ground.

The author deals with the Roman invasion of Britain, and of how these ancient Britons adapted to their new Romano-British lifestyle. Despite their cultural changes the Durotriges continued to use Ynys Witrin as their sacred island at least up until the 5th century.

Controversially, this view challenges the popular legend that Jesus' kinsman, Joseph of Arimathea, founded a Christian church at Glastonbury in the 1st century - Yuri explains that whist Christians were the enemies of Rome well into the 3rd century, and that the lack of any archaeological remains indicating Christian presence until the 5th century shows how Glastonbury probably functioned as a sacred burial ground until the Dark Ages.

Gwyn also accounts for the first Christian missionaries of the 5th century who made very deliberate attempts to banish the old god from Glastonbury Tor.

By taking the reader step by step through medieval Welsh literature, Yuri Leitch explains how Gwyn has an intimate link with many of Glastonbury's unusual characteristics. The Tor’s ; it's placement on the St. Michael Line alignment, with the Mid Winter sun-roll up the Tor, and most curiously, with the landscape enigma of the Glastonbury Zodiac.

This is the tale of the Saxon invasion of Britain and the mass exodus of the native Britons from their homeland and their sacred isle. It tells the evocative tale of Centwine, the Saxon king of Wessex, who 'pushed the Britons to the sea' in the 7th century and the forced retreat into Wales, Cornwall and Brittany and beyond.

Here is some of the history, giving rise to the legendary tales of 'Avalon' and the sacred ‘otherworld’ and- related faerie-realm mythology. Gwyn, the Lord of Paradise, is diminished by time and the newly imported traditions to become the 'King of the Fairies'. And then finally debased into the 'Demon King' of the Celtic Hades by ignorance; in this book you will discover the true god of Glastonbury.


Publication date: 22 May 2007

Binding: PB

Pages: 106

ISBN: 978-09555970-1-5

£ 11.99


Publication date: 20 June 2007

HB Limited signed edition of 500

ISBN: 978-09555970-0-8

£ 14.99

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