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Ashbrittle Yew

Ashbrittle Yew, Somerset
Ashbrittle Yew / Martin Bodman, , CC BY-SA 2.0

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 50.9837 N 3.3515 W
No:208        (list of all attractions)
Category:Trees, Sites of legends
Values:Biology, Visual
Address:Europe, United Kingdom, England, Somerset, 18 km west from Taunton, in Ashbrittle, south-east from the church.
Species:European Yew (Taxus baccata L.)
Circumference:11.58 m

There is a beautiful and legendary tree in the small Ashbrittle village - the Ashbrittle Yew.

The tree stands next to the church of St. John The Baptist. Church is built in the 15th century and without a doubt it is an old building - but the church was built when the yew was already a giant tree!

Long ago the trunk of the tree became hollow and then the giant trunk fragmented. Now Ashbrittle yew looks like a group of several trees consisting of a central, hollowed stem (circumference - 4.9 m) with 6 other stems. Girth of the whole tree now is assessed to be 11.58 m. Tree has enormous canopy.


Although there is no way to prove it, many believe that the tree is more than 2,000 years old or even 3,000 years old. Local stories go further than this: legends tell that the tree grows on a Bronze Age barrow where has been buried important local chief. Even more: there reportedly was a druidic circle next to the tree (where church stands now) where heads of the defeated Roman soldiers were brought.


See Ashbrittle Yew on the map of Somerset!


  1. Stonehenge Riverside Project. Accessed on March 20, 2011

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