Yew at Norbury All Saints’ Church
Formally there are yew trees with a larger circumference of the trunk in the United Kingdom, but the circumference is measured around several separate trunks. Most likely, the Yew at Norbury All Saints’ Church has the most massive single trunk with a circumference of 10.72 m.
Map of the site
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The yew tree in the ancient church graveyard in Norbury belongs to the largest trees in the United Kingdom.
Compared to many other giant yew trees, the Norbury Yew is in excellent condition. It has retained a single, giant trunk, while other giant yews have a divided trunk with several stems. Its trunk is covered with numerous smaller trunks, twigs, and bulges and, due to this, it is hard to make an exact measurement of the circumference.
The circumference is measured at the ground level as further up it becomes wider.
The yew is visible in a drawing from 1790 and this drawing shows the stone wall around the tree. This stone wall exists up to this day, but, as the trunk of the tree has expanded, it has pushed the wall outwards and broken it.
Yew at Norbury All Saints’ Church was first mentioned in 1888 when it was noticed and documented during the excursion of the North Staffs Botanical Society.
Locals take good care of the tree. It is considered that the tree is very old and on the information shield it is mentioned that the yew is 2 700 years old. It is hard to check whether this is true.
All Saints’ Church
The All Saints’ Church was rebuilt in 1879-1880, but some parts of the church and the font inside are from the 14th century.
The natural and cultural wonders of England are very diverse and here are found some of the world’s most impressive landmarks in several categories, such as churches and museums.
The category includes some of the most impressive and interesting separate trees in the world. The total number of tree species in the world still is a wild guess – maybe 10,000 and maybe 100,000 but most likely somewhere in between. Every month there are reported new tree species from the whole world, including Western Europe.
Throughout many centuries the United Kingdom has enjoyed relative political stability and wealth. As a result, humans have created here countless amazing and well-preserved values of art and history.
With its bright red, poisonous berries to its dark evergreen foliage, the yew tree is a familiar sight in ancient churchyards, as well as the carefully manicured and sculpted grounds of stately homes. Beyond its striking appearance and amazing longevity, the humble yew has played a surprisingly important part in European history throughout the ages: A sacred tree to the pagan druids of old, as well as a key ingredient of medieval warfare.
The gnarled, immutable yew tree is one of the most evocative sights in the British and Irish language, an evergreen impression of immortality, the tree that provides a living botanical link between our own landscapes and those of the distant past. This book tells the extraordinary story of the yew’s role in the landscape through the millennia, and makes a convincing case for the origins of many of the oldest trees, as markers of the holy places founded by Celtic saints in the early medieval ‘Dark Ages’.