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| All Saints (Alton Priors) |
[660 x 495 jpg]
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|Description ||This hollow yew in the churchyard is said to be more than 1,700 years old. Far older than the church and perhaps linked in some way to the mysterious sarsen stone beneath the church floor.|
|What an incredible tree!|
|I would have wanted to lay there too. Wonderful picture.|
|I didn't know that trees could last this long! Is it the oldest tree in England? PS: I love your dog, what is he/she called?|
|Oldest yew that I know of is in Much Marcle churchyard, Herefordshire - estimated at more than 2000 years old and still going strong even with a horseshoe shaped wooden seat inside! Theory is that churches were built next to ancient yews rather than yews planted in churchyards. In other words, the yews were there long before the churches and this supports the idea that they were sacred sites before Christianity. Yews start off with a single trunk and then more trunks
form. When the tree reaches maturity, the central trunk dies (so tree ring dating to establish age is impossible) and the hollowing begins. Then a branch does a u-turn and grows downwards into the hollow. Buries itself in the soil and becomes a new trunk. More trunks grow and die and so on until eventually the hollow is too wide to refill. Then the outer trunks keep growing and the girth increases. Unless felled, it can go on indefinitely - all parts are poisonous except the flesh of the berries - so it has no enemies. It is really magical to go inside a yew and look at the weirdly convoluted wood. You feel like Merlin after he was trapped by Nimue.
My dog is Tegan and she turns up in many megalithic photos.|
|Estimated at 6,000 years old - the oldest yew is at Fortingale in Scotland see also http://www.woodnet.org.uk/woodeducation/yews.htm|
|Thanks for that Thorgrim! Very interesting explanation.
I had noticed Tegan before - she looks like a very good companion for your explorations. I started to read your latest posting about her (the legendary eyes!), before searching your pics for this. It jogged my memory that I'd added a comment about her! |
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