The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Wearyall Hill

Sacred Hill


Southwest from the town is WEARYALL-HILL, an eminence so called (if we will believe the monkish writers) from St. Joseph and his companions sitting down here all weary with their journey. Here St. Joseph stuck his stick into the earth, which, although a dry hawthorn staff, thenceforth grew, and constantly budded on Christmas-day. It had two trunks or bodies, till the time of Queen Elizabeth, when a puritan exterminated one, and left the other, which was of the size of a common man, to be viewed in wonder by strangers; and the blossoms thereof were esteemed such curiosities by people of all nations, that the Bristol merchants made a traffick of them, and exported them into foreign parts. In the great rebellion, during the time of King Charles I. the remaining trunk of this tree was also cut down; but other trees from its branches are still growing in many gardens of Glastonbury, and in the different nurseries of this kingdom. It is probable that the monks of Glastonbury procured this tree from Palestine, where abundance of the same sort grow, and flower about the same time. Where this thorn grew is said to have been a nunnery dedicated to St. Peter, without the pale of Weriel-Park, belonging to the abbey.
Besides this holy thorn, there grew in the abbey-church-yard, on the north side of St. Joseph’s chapel, a miraculous walnut-tree, which never budded forth before the feast of St. Barnabas, viz. the eleventh of June; and on that very day shot forth leaves and flourished like its usual species. This tree is also gone, and in the place thereof stands a very fine walnut-tree of the common sort.
It is strange to say how much both these trees were sought after by the credulous, and though the former was a common thorn, and the latter not an uncommon walnut, Queen Anne, King James, and many of the nobility of the realm, even when the times of monkish superstition had ceased, gave large sums of money for small cuttings from the original.
From John Collinson's 1791 History and Antiquities of Somerset.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
17th March 2015ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment