Tyne and Wear HER(7850): Houghton-le-Spring, Rectory Park, Gilpin Thorn - Details
Houghton-le-Spring, Rectory Park, Gilpin Thorn
Tradition says that Bernard Gilpin (rector of Houghton 1558) took a cutting from the thorn in the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey, which according to legend had been planted there by Joseph of Arimethea. Gilpin planted the thorn in the rectory grounds. Frank Rushford, in his book of c1950 described the thorn tree as "crabbed and gnarled with age, and supported here and there with timber, and yet still in a wonderful state of preservation. It is a historic object of which Houghtonians are not a little proud". Tree no longer there.
Frank H. Rushford, c1950, Houghton le Spring: A History, pp 29-30; Paul Lanagan, 2013, Houghton-le-Spring Rectory - A Walk Around the Grounds (www.houghtonlespring.org.uk); Paul Lanagan, 2006-2013, The Gilpin Thorn, www.houghtonlespring.org.uk; Northern Archaeological Associates Ltd. 2014, Rectory Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Archaeological Assessment and Building Recording