A legendary, 2,000 year old tree in Glastonbury, England, was chopped down to its stump by vandals during the hours of Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The Glastonbury Holy Thorn Tree was a rare tree with religious roots in Christianity and held sacred by many Christians, locals, pagans, even atheists. The Glastonbury tree, according to Christian belief, was originally planted by St. Joseph of Arimathea, who offered his tomb to Jesus. In years following, the tree was a location where pilgrims often left offerings against its roots. Local children often cut sprigs from the tree for decorating Queen Elizabeth II's Christmas table.
Glastonbury Mayor John Coles told the AP: "I've just driven past the site, and people are coming out in tears. I've never seen a sadder sight, or a more serious act of vandalism, in my 60 years in Glastonbury."
The tree was considered "sacred" by many. It reportedly bloomed every Christmas season and every Easter. Local authorities are investigating the incident. Tree experts are hopeful that it will recover in 10 years, as it already survived a similar incident during the English Civil Wars of 1642 through 1651.