Wednesday, 30 October 2013


This page is about some curious church horticulture.
In the churchyard at Painswick in Gloucestershire there are at least 99 yew trees.  It is said that attempts to grow the one hundredth tree have always failed.
Painswick churchyard
A single yew tree in the churchyard at Fortingal in Tayside is reputed to be some 2,000 years old – 0ne of the oldest living things in Europe. In 1769 it had a girth of over 56ft but has now disintigrated into several sections
Fortingal yew

The site of this church may have been an early monastery and the present church contains many interesting relics including a hand bell dating from the 600's.  This place is reputed to be the birthplace of Pontius Pilate.

 Fortingall Church
Copyright 'ayrshire lass' to whom I am grateful for allowing me to copy this photograph.

An avenue of 700 years old yew trees lead to the church at Nevern in Pembrokeshire, Wales. One of them is the famous ‘bleeding’ yew tree’ about which various legends exist. A blood red sap leaks from the trunk of the tree. One story has it that it bleeds for the wrongful hanging of a young man many years ago. Another says that it will bleed until the world is at peace.


Nevern Church
Copyright 'grev16' to whom I am grateful for allowing me to copy this photograph.

Nevern Yew

A fig tree grows out of the wall at the old church at Manaccan in Cornwall. The wall has a two outer facings of stone with a space between filled with rubble, which has a enabled the tree to grow.  The origin of this 200 year old tree is not known.
Another fig tree in the churchyard  in the centre of Watford in Hertfordshire, has  split a gravestone in all directions.   The story goes that the incumbent, an atheist, asked for the fig tree to be placed in his coffin when he was buried there, saying that if there was a God, the fig tree would grow.

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