Glastonbury Thorn prickles with history


One step from Joseph of Arimathea

Few towns in Britain can hold a candle to Glastonbury for shear fascination and history. Legendary burial place of King Arthur and his wife Gwenevere, the tall 'tor' or hill upon which a small chapel rests is visible for miles in all directions. Glastonbury is what cycling in England is all about: small town, great charm, just plainly and simply beautiful in its honesty. Supposedly it was visited by Joseph of Arimethea who stabbed his staff into the ground: it grew on the spot and was preserved. Sometime later (my memory is weak on this just now) it was cut down by a religious terrorist with a George Washington fetish, and a shoot was used to plant the tree you now see in front of you.

JRR Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion wrote in the former story about a White Tree of Gondor, cut down by the evil forces of Sauron and only barely restored when a seedling was found on the slopes of Mt. Mindollouin by Aragorn, descendant of a family of high Kings of the West. Trees, cutting them and restoring them, were always important to Tolkien (god help you if you encounter an Ent on a cycling tour] and i am sure his familiarity with Glastonbury was the taproot.
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