Holy Thorn tree on Wearyall Hill

Glastonbury Holy Thorn Tree, Wearyall Hill

[England, Glastonbury Hill]

born: over 2,000 years ago. died: 10 December 2010

According to legend, Joseph of Arimathea, Jesus’ great uncle, travelled to this spot after Christ was crucified, taking with him the Holy Grail of Arthurian folklore. He is said to have stuck his wooden staff – which had belonged to Jesus – into the ground on Wearyall Hill before he went to sleep.


The person or people involved have been called vandals, but this has been mostly decried as sacrilegious. If it is indeed so, i reckon whomever chopped up the tree could have chosen a better target. A spindly collection of branches, an easy target, on an isolated English hill hardly harbours much sentiment. Other symbols will rise in place of this within Christianity, but this tree was torn from its life here on earth.

When this tree first hit the news, i immediately thought back to the golden spruce. Hacked down by ex-logger Grant Hadwin as a wake-up call to the same industry he had left, there was outrage and hurt from the indigenous Haida community, and a brief spotlight on the holocaustic practices of the logging industry. Then the hubbub faded; the 300-year-old spruce, the lone golden tree in the world, remains dead.

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