Glastonbury Holy Thorn Tree

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  1. Ian Topham says:

    Re: Glastonbury Holy Thorn Tree
    The following article entitled ‘New hope as Holy Thorn is planted in Glastonbury’ appeared in the Somerset Gazette on Thursday 5 April 2012.

    In a quiet ceremony on Palm Sunday, a new Holy Thorn tree was planted on Wearyall Hill, Glastonbury.

    The new cutting is close to the tree that was hacked down by vandals in December 2010.Rev David MacGeoch, Alan Fear with Frank and Edward James plant the new Holy Thorn on Wearyall Hill in Glastonbury

    The people responsible were never caught.

    The new tree was grafted from the branches of a Holy Thorn cutting from Thornhayes Nursery in Devon, whose parent tree came from Glastonbury Abbey. The tree was blessed by Rev David MacGeogh, who presided over the ceremony.

    Edward James, one of the landowners, said the tree would be protected by a sturdy cage, and there are hopes to list it.

    Anyone who damages a tree protected by a preservation order can face a fine of up to £20,000.
    “I was approached by Glastonbury Conservation Society about the idea of having a new Holy Thorn on Wearyall Hill,” said Mr James.

    “I spoke to my brothers, and we agreed that, yes, it would be appropriate.

    “It was very important to us that in keeping with the legend of the tree, it was a ‘Christian’ tree and we invited Reverend MacGeogh to lead us in prayer and to bless the tree.”

    He said the vandalised tree was continuing to show some signs of life.

    “There are some shoots on it, but the problem is that whenever it starts to shoot, people start taking the leaves.

    “I’ve found people pouring beer and honey onto the roots – I know they think they are helping, but really the tree just needs to be left alone to give it the best chance of recovery.”

    The vandalised tree was the subject of a 30-minute Radio 4 programme, called The Mystery of the Holy Thorn, which aired on Wednesday morning, as the Central Somerset Gazette went to press.

    The Mayor of Glastonbury, Councillor Bill Knight said: “It was a very low-key affair, but I am delighted that a replacement tree has been planted in the town.

    “I really hope that it will last another 100 years.”