Frederick bligh bond

Frederick Bligh Bond

After reading Peter's report of Chris Richards walk, I was curious about the gentleman mentioned. So l did a little research on Mr. Bligh Bond.

He was born on the 30th June 1864, the son of the Rev. Hookey Bond in Marlborough, Wiltshire. His family were related to Captain William Bligh through Bligh Bond's grandfather. He was educated at home by his father, who was Headmaster of the Marlborough Royal Free Grammar School.

Bligh Bond practised as an architect in Bristol from 1888. Among his work includes schools such as the Board Schools in Barton Hill, Easton and Southville. He designed the schools of medicine,and re engineering at Bristol University and the Music School of Clifton College.

In 1908 the Church of England appointed him director of excavations at Glastonbury Abby. His excavations rediscovered.the nature and dimensions of a number of buildings that had occupied the site. His work is one of the first documented examples of psychic archaeology and remains a principal case in many discussions of psychic archaeology. He claimed to have contacted dead monks and the supposed builder of the Edgar Chapel at Glastonbury Abbey who he said advised him where to excavate enabling him to locate two chapels. It is impossible to tell whether he was actually advised by ghosts or spirits or whether his expertise in church architecture and information from early drawings helped him locate them.

Bligh joined the Freemasons in 1889, the philosophical Society in 1894, the Society for physical Research in 1902, the Societas Resicruciana in Anglia in 1909 and the ghost club in 1925. In 1899 Bligh Bond expressed his belief that the dimensions of the building at Glastonbury Abbey were based on gematra, a traditional Jewish system of assigning numerical value to a word or phrase. In 1919 he published 'The Gates of Remembrance' which revealed that he had employed psychical methods to guide his excavation of the Glastonbury ruins, using Captain,John Allan Bartless as a medium, and later others. As a consequence of these revelations his relations with his employers who strongly disapproved of spiritualism deteriorated and he was dismissed by Bishop Armitage Robinson in 1921.

From 1921 to 1926 he was editor of Psychic Science. Then in 1926 Bligh Bond emigrated to the USA where he was employed as education secretary of the American Society for Physical Research and worked as editor on their magazine, Survival. In 1936 he left the ASPR and returned to England, rejoining the Ghost Club. During his time in America, Bond was ordained and in 1933 was consecrated as a bishop in the Old Catholic Church of America.

After he returned to the United Kingdom in 1936 he spent his time in London and Dolgellau, where he died on the 8th March 1945. On the 30th December 2008 Bligh Bond was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary, The Ghosts of Glastonbury, hosted by Tony Robinson, which examined Bligh Bond's claims that he received archaeological information through automatic writing from deceased monks. Please use the link below for more information.

Jenny Kingsbury