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Holythorn Press - publishing rare and unusual  books

Holythorn Press is a small independent publisher based in the ancient and historic landscape of County Meath. Nestled in a corner of the beautiful Loughcrew Estate - we are just a short distance from one of the most important megalithic sites in Ireland: the Loughcrew Cairns, also known as Sliabh na Caillíghe. Surrounded by huge old trees and green rolling hills, with the songs of a multitude of birds to accompany our daily life, we are inspired and nourished by the beauty of the natural world.


The founders of Holythorn Press:

Sally North was born and grew up in Ireland. She is a graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where she obtained a BA (Hons.) in the History and Archaeology of Africa and Asia. She went on to obtain a PhD in History (London University of the Arts). Her particular interests are in the history of magic, Irish myth and legend, the Celtic Revival, nationalism and occultism, and the history of the Golden Dawn. Her leisure activities include playing the harp, gardening and metalwork. She is an accomplished silversmith and jewellery maker.

James North is a graduate of the University of Oxford (Magdalen) in Classics and Philosophy. He went on to acquire two MAs, in computer science from Queen Mary College, London and in Renaissance Studies from the Warburg Institute. He lectures and teaches on subjects as diverse as traditional astronomy and star lore, 17th century science, philosophy, mythology and alchemy, with particular expertise in the works of Francis Bacon, and the Cambridge neo-Platonists. He is a professional-level musician in several stringed instruments and in styles from medieval/classical to jazz and rock.


The name Holythorn Press was inspired by our time in Glastonbury, Somerset. According to legend, the tree was the flowering staff of Joseph of Arimathea who came to Glastonbury after the Crucifixion.  Unlike all other hawthorn trees the Glastonbury Thorn flowers twice a year, at Christmas and Easter. The trees continue to propagate from each other down to the present day, each one a descendent of the original.

We had a Holy Thorn tree in our garden in Glastonbury which did indeed flower twice a year; at the winter flowering, leaves, haws, buds and flowers are all on the branches at the same time. A little winter miracle.

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