Following a direct Civil War cannonball hit and later gutting by a fantasy grotto creator, it’s a wonder the famous Crowhurst Yew in Surrey lasted this long. See national treasure Dame Judi Dench examine the 1500 year old tree with tree expert Tony Kirkham.
1500 Year Old Tree
The Crowhurst Yew is up to 1,500 years old and sits in the grounds of St George’s Church in Surrey. The church was built when the tree had already lived for a thousand years.
A local skirmish during the English Civil War (1642–1651) appears to have hit the ancient tree with a cannonball.
The bark healed over and this event was lost to history until 1820, when the cannonball was discovered during a local pub landlord’s crazy scheme to hollow out the trunk.
Undeterred, the project continued. A wooden door was placed at the entrance to the now hollow trunk, and a table and dozen chairs placed inside. For a few years it made a kitsch eating place.
Dame Judi Visits The Crowhurst Yew
In this short film, the much-loved British actress Dame Judi Dench visits the Crowhurst Yew with tree expert Tony Kirkham. He’s the Head of Arboretum, Gardens & Horticulture Services at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew.
If you want to know more about the Crowhurst Yew, or discover more of these astonishingly ancient trees UK, head over to our page about The Oldest Trees In The UK.
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