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Trees of time

What historical events have ancient trees lived through?

An ancient tree, 900 years old or more, would have lived through the following historical events (and may even have contributed to them by providing timber, shelter, a meeting place):

1100s The Norman reign and Forest Law
1200s The setting up of the first parliament in 1295
1300s The Black Death outbreaks in 1348, 1368, 1369 & 1374
1400s The War of the Roses in 1455
1500s Queen Elizabeth the First’s reign 1558 - 1603
1600s Oliver Cromwell being made Lord Protector in 1653
1700s Captain Cook’s voyage of discovery in 1768
1800s The Battle of Trafalgar in 1805
1900s The First World War and the Second World War
2000s The Millennium celebrations

The Fortingall Yew

The Fortingall Yew in Scotland is perhaps 5,000 years old. It is believed to be the most ancient tree in the United Kingdom and is probably the oldest living thing in Europe.

It was first described in 1769 by the Hon. Daines Barrington and again, in 1833 by Dr Neil who found that large amounts had been cut away ‘by the country people, with the view of forming quechs or drinking cups, and other relics, which visitors were in the habit of purchasing.’ In 1854 Loudon said ‘its age is unknown, but it has long been a mere shell, forming an arch through which funeral processions were accustomed to pass’. Today, it still forms an impressive site, although it is now enclosed by a wall built to protect it.