On the night of December 8, a vandal or vandals unknown cut down and destroyed the Holy Thorn of Glastonbury on Wearyall Hill. BASTARDS! Earlier that day, the Mayor of Glastonbury, accompanied by a vicar and schoolchildren, had just cut the traditional sprig of flowering thorn to send to the Queen for Christmas. Now the tree is no more.
My Rare One took this photo of the Holy Thorn when we visited it a couple of years ago (you can read my blog post about it here). Now the tree has been destroyed -- all its limbs and branches were brutally cut off and just left scattered on the ground. Its protective metal fence (still covered in ribbons and strips of cloth left by pilgrims) was yanked up almost to the top of the remaining stump. Here are some photos of the carnage:
It is heartbreaking to see crime scene tape around the sacred tree. Police are investigating but so far have no suspects or motive for this crime.
There is hope that the tree, in time, may be able to regenerate new growth from the stump. Cuttings could also be taken from other Holy Thorns which are descendants of the original tree -- for example, there is another Holy Thorn on the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey. But, either way, it will be years before the tree on Wearyall Hill can be fully restored.
To me, this dreadful story is like hearing that an old friend has died suddenly and tragically in a senseless act of violence. I grieve for the Holy Thorn.