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The Pulpit Yew

A tree of Grand Design? It seems that even Ancient yew trees can multi-task..

26 January 2010

A truly unusual sight awaits you in the churchyard of St James Parish Church, Nantglyn, Denbighshire, on the B5435 approximately 5 miles south west of Denbigh.

The hollowed trunk of this ancient Yew has been converted into an out-door pulpit from which many a sermon has been preached - including one, rumour has it, by the founder of the Methodist Church, John Wesley. Local Welsh slate has been used to craft some steps leading to a seat and podium at the top which over-looks the surrounding churchyard.

As far back as the 1850s an observer of this extraordinary tree wrote “There has been an aperture on one side of this tree, which is now built up with lime and stone, and forms a sort of armchair, where an active party may climb and sit and view the beauties of the pretty little vale”.

Despite the modifications, The Pulpit Yew remains in excellent health and is a shining - if extreme - example of the recognised association between yew trees and places of worship.

The Pulpit Yew: Photo from ATH Record