But what was it?

Archdeacon Wilberforce interrupted proceedings from time to time to clarify details, and later on he suggested members of the audience might like to question the young ladies. What follows are the answers of ‘Miss Allen’, and as Janet was the older of the two she is probably the one who answers here:

The Chairman: Miss Allen, you went to Glastonbury at the request of Mr Pole?

Miss Allen: We had previously arranged our pilgrimage and then received his instructions to go to this particular spot.

(a voice from the audience): And you got to this particular spot? Mr Pole had accurately described it?

Miss Allen: we knew the spot as we had been there twice before. It was in the well, full of mud, that we actually brought the cup to light.

The Chairman: Didn’t it seem a rather hopeless task?

Miss Allen: Quite hopeless

The Chairman: But you felt you ought to go on?

Miss Allen: Yes

The Chairman: It is a kind of fen place, is it not, and very few people go by it?

Miss Allen: Yes, quite away from the ordinary route.

The Chairman: You must have got into a terrible mess?

Miss Allen: Yes, a great deal of mud had to be dug up.

(A voice): What depth from the surface?

Miss Allen: About two feet of mud.

(A voice): There was about four feet of water in the well, was there not?

Miss Allen: About three and a half feet.

(A voice): Did your feet touch it or did you find it with your hands? Did you dig with your hands only?

Miss Allen: Hands and feet.

(A voice):  No spades?

Miss Allen: No

The Chairman: And it looked beautiful with the water on it? Now, you did not bring it home?  That seems a rather peculiar thing. Was it something abnormal that made you feel as though you ought not to take it?

Miss Allen: Yes, so we simply replaced it in the well, after having washed it.

(A voice): Could it have been seen by anyone else?

Miss Allen: No, it went to the bottom in the mud.

Dean’s Yard transcipt, 20.7.1907

We might pause here to consider the messy job the maidens were willing to undertake: three and a half feet of water plus two feet of mud. At least they went in September, on the 3rd, when the weather might not have been too sharp, but when Katherine went a month later she had no such luck.

It was a chill, rainy, October day, and she had to wade into deep and peculiarly unpleasant mud. Nonetheless, she found at once the object of her search with her feet, and carried it home with her.

But what was it?

The Two Worlds of Wellesley Tuor Pole, Gerry Fenge

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