A 2,000-year-old holy tree which was hacked down by vandals has miraculously come back to life and is sprouting new buds, it emerged.
Locals were reduced to tears after the Holy Thorn Tree in Glastonbury, Somerset – which can be traced back to the death of Jesus – was hacked down in December.
The branches were sawn off and dumped on the floor and just the 6ft stump was left standing.
But caring Christians dressed the tree’s wounds in pine resin and beeswax and wrapped it up to protect it from the frost.
It was not known whether the tree would recover – but it burst into life this week in a miraculous ‘second coming’.
Glastonbury Mayor John Coles said: ”I am so pleased to see the tree has woken up after its winter rest. This is wonderful news for the town.”
Experts from Kew Gardens have managed to graft cuttings from the branches that were damaged in the attack, he added.
Christian legend dictates that Jesus’s great uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, came to Britain after the crucifixion 2,000 years ago bearing the Holy Grail – the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper.
He visited Glastonbury and thrust his staff into Wearyall Hill, just below the Tor, planting a seed for the original thorn tree.
Oliver Cromwell’s Roundheads felled the tree during the English Civil War, when Parliament waged a vicious battle against the Crown.
However, locals salvaged the roots of the original tree, hiding it in secret locations around Glastonbury.
It was then replanted on the hill in 1951. Other cuttings were also grown and placed around the town – including its famous Glastonbury Abbey.
But vandals hacked the tree down in the early hours of December 9 last year, leaving the community shocked.
Avon and Somerset Police confirmed they were still investigating the axed tree today and had made no arrests.