10 JUNE 1922, Page 19


Soaix three years ago there appeared a book which claimed tht by means of automatic writing it had been possible to locate the position and length of the Edgar Chapel at Glastonbury, and that when the site was excavated the foundations of the Chapel were found in the position indicated by the automatist. As the book was by the architect, Mr. Bligh Bond, who was the director of the excavations, the matter received considerable attention, Now there comes a careful and critical investigation by Da, * False Psychical Claims in" The Gale of Remembrance" concerning Glastonbury Abbey. By the Rev. H. J. Wilkins, ll.D. Bristol : Arrowsmith. 12s. 6d.]

Wilkins and a very different colour is put upon these " courteous revelations of spirits." The critic says :-

"There is absolutely nothing supermundane in the whole of the script, and no room for ' cosmic memory ' (what•ever may be the definition of that vague postulate), or for disincarnate monks or other disincarnate entities. There is no message from within the veil.' All that is true in tho script could be gathered from historical data or reasonably conjectured by intelligent obser- vation of existing facts and conditions. . . . The historical data for the Edgar Chapel and the Loretto Chapel were ample for successful excavations, as they were of a very definite cha- racter and needed only careful consideration and collation. ; but `veridical' (0 script produced confusion and false results followed."

The matter of the Edgar Chapel may be summed up thus. The automatic writing declared it to exist at the east end of the choir and gave its length as ninety feet. When the ground was opened the foundations were there, though not quite of that length. This seems a good case, but unfortunately an ancient authority which Mr. Bond and his automatist were both familiar with gives the position of the Chapel and its length as ninety feet. Nevertheless, supernatural claims are still made. There are a large number of details to be considered, but there is no getting over the fact that Mr. Bond himself says he has studied all the available authorities and in his work was helped by " J. A.," the automatic writer, who appears to be the Mr. Allen Bartlett to whom Mr. Bond gives his cordial thanks for his help in " documentary research." Glastonbury seems destined to be a very attractive ground for unscientific dabblers in the occult, so much so that those careful in these matters

feel that complete investigation is needed when the supernatural makes its appearance in this home of legend. Those who remember the articles in the Times some years ago describing

the discovery of the Holy Grail at Glastonbury would indeed be surprised if they knew all the ridiculous circumstances which led up to so astonishing a " find."