Friday, 7 January 2011

The Ankerwycke Yew

The Ankerwycke Yew in Runnymede is absolutely stunning. Surprisingly its quite a
small tree but huge in its girth. I've walked this place so many times and always
felt its magic but had no idea it was so old or that the area was so rich in
history. I've just been reading about it and thought I would share it with you.

Ankerwycke Yew

The Ankerwycke Yew is an ancient yew tree close to the ruins of St Mary's Priory, the site of a Benedictine nunnery built in the 12th century. It is near Wraysbury in Berkshire, England. It is a male tree with a girth of 8 metres (26 ft)[1]. It is said that an Austin Mini would be completely hidden from view if parked behind the trunk. Various estimates have put its age at between 2,000 and 2,500 years.

On the opposite bank of the River Thames are the meadows of Runnymede.

Historians agree that Runnymede was a special meeting place said to be called the meadow of the Runes, or magical charms, the field of mystery, and the field of council" (Gordon Gyll, History of Wraysbury, 1861). In Saxon times it was known as Rune-mede, implying a place of council where, originally, the runes would have been consulted and runes at that time had deep associations with yew trees.

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