Glastonbury Thorn


A variety of hawthorn which originated from a tree on Wearyall Hill Glastonbury, England, and which has the peculiarity of flowering both at Christmas time and in May; this is recorded in a letter written in 1535 to Thomas Cromwell, Earl of Essex. The tree was cut down by a fanatical Parliamentarian soldier in 1653; but slips had previously been taken from it, and from these were derived many specimens which exist today; the Christmas blossoms are usually smaller than those in May. The legend is that the original tree grew from the staff of Saint Joseph of Arimathea, who came to Glastonbury in 63; the story was current long before the destruction of the abbey, but the date of its origin is unknown.

MLA Citation

  • “Glastonbury Thorn”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 18 August 2010. Web. 9 December 2019. <>