The Glastonbury Thorn:
Please also note that whilst we are aware of several that sit on private property in people's gardens, we have not listed them here due to respect of privacy.
This particular Glastonbury Thorn is 20 miles out of Glastonbury at Ammerdown - a beautiful retreat centre with a focus on peace and reconciliation; this is one of the healthiest specimens that Morgana has seen. Bedecked in a mantle of snow, it looks just as beautiful as when in blossom.
Acton Beauchamp was originally in Worcestershire, but became part of Herefordshire in 1897, and like most other Herefordshire villages it was, and still is mostly a farming community, with many of the cottages being from the 17th and 18th centuries. At one time there was a very old farm house adjacent to a rather spasmodic spring, known as the Roaring Water, and near to this grew a holy thorn which was reputed to be a scion of the one at Glastonbury and which came into flower on Christmas Eve. So many people traipsed over the farmer’s land in order to see this, that he lost patience and destroyed the thorn – after which act he had an rather nasty accident and broke both his arm and his leg. Shortly afterwards, his farm burnt to the ground.
King’s Thorn, Herefordshire. There is a Glastonbury Thorn here and it is said that this is how Kings Thorn acquired it's name and that it came with the templars/hospitalers that owned vast amounts of the county and connected with Garway Church and the famous dovecote. (Unverified.)
Bawming the Thorn - Appleton Thorn – Cheshire
The thorn tree, which stands beside St Cross Church in Appleton Thorn is believed to be an offshoot of the Glastonbury thorn. Adam de Dutton, a knight of the Crusades and local landowner, brought it to Appleton.
Bawming, which means, “decorating the tree with flowers and ribbons”, takes place each year, whilst local children dance and sing the Bawming song.
A Glastonbury Thorn also has its roots in the beautiful Oxford University Parks. It can be found in Thorn Walk. This collection of many thorn varieties was planted along the walk from South Lodge to Lady Margaret Gate in 1928-29/
In Quainton, in Buckinghamshire, above two thousand people went, with lanterns and candles, to view a blackthorn in that neighbourhood, and which was remembered to be a slip from the famous Glastonbury thorn, and that it always budded on the 24th, was full blown the next day, and went all off at night. The people finding no appearance of a bud, it was agreed by all, that December 25 (new style) could not be the right Christmas-day, and accordingly refused going to church, and treating their friends on that day as usual: at length the affair became so serious, that the ministers of the neighbouring villages, in order to appease them, thought it prudent to give notice, that the Old Christmas-day should be kept holy as before.
Now this is where we need your help. Below are several names of places where Glastonbury thorns are, or have been. Those readers that are in the areas and like a mission, or a quest, might care to see if they can find out more or get a photograph. Morgana will be delighted to hear from you. Contact her...
Winter flowering on the Glastonbury Thorn at
The Gilpin Thorn is said to have been grown from a cutting taken from the Glastonbury Thorn in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey by Bernard Gilpin, Rector of Houghton from 1557 until his death in 1583. This ancient hawthorn died at the hands of vandals in the early 1990's. To read more about the Gilpin Thorn, click here...
St Peter's Church in Addingham is built on a mound, and some writers have suggested that this was the site of a 'druid temple', for according to one local source the outline of the ancient circle becomes quite distinct after a light sprinkling of snow.
A Glastonbury Thorn is planted in the churchyard.
The Orcop Thorn Herefordshire
The Orcop thorn was perhaps Herefordshire's most popular thorn, and its blossoming narrowly missed being televised in 1949 when the BBC discovered at the last minute that there was nowhere to plug their lamps into due to electricity having not yet reached Orcop. Sadly, the thorn perished in a storm in 1980.
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