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The Ankerwycke Yew at Runnymede

One of our most iconic tress, the Ankewycke Yew has had a long history of being an ideal meeting place.

The Ankerwycke Yew is believed to be where the oathing and sealing of the Magna Carta by King John took place 800 years ago in June 1215. At that time, the area would have been very different, with the yew standing, near a Benedictine convent, on an island amongst the flood plains of the River Thames. Archaeological evidence suggests that Runnymede was an important meeting place long before Magna Carta.

At a point where four counties meet, Runnymede has long been linked with the inauguration of early kings (The Ankerwycke Yew, Living Witness to the Magna Carta by Janis Fry). The island of Ankerwycke would then have been a more obvious location for the barons of England to make King John swear to the Magna Carter in 1215, than it appears today. It is also said that Henry VIII met Anne Boleyn at Ankerwycke in the 1530’s.

In 2002 was given the status of Great British Tree by the Tree Council, in celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The National Trust have produced a circular walk at Ankerwyke.