The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

99 Yew Trees

amy

By amy

35 comments


We have been away visiting our Granddaughter she lives in a small village outside Cirencester in Gloucestershire .
One of the interesting places we stopped to see was this churchyard at St.Mary’s in the village of Painswick .. Near Stroud
It is said that no more than 99 Yew Trees can grow here and that the hundredth one will always be pulled up by the Devil

Each year on the Sunday after the feast of the nativity the children of Painswick encircle the church of St. Mary, join hands and perform a dance not unlike the Hokey-Kokie .During the dance a clypping song is sung , this is believed to express the parishioners love of the church.

In ancient times this was a very riotous time with visitors flooding into the town to view the ceremony, there was a great deal of drunkenness and lewd behaviour, there was also a huge demand for food , local hostelries were very much under pressure and being desperate for meat they made " Puppy dog " pies , this custom is re-enacted in modern times but with a difference , China dogs are baked into the pies and cakes and sold on the day …

I believe the Yew Trees were planted in 1792 …. it was getting dark by the time we arrived here and i’m not that great at taking photos in that kind of light but I think you can see them alright …

More blog posts by amy

Previous post: Crocus Sativus -- ' Saffron Crocus '

Next post: How embarrassing is that !



Comments

 

Sure can Amy, that is a fabulous piece of history and I`m so pleased you have shared with us, one can imagine the behaviour of some folk over the years but its good that the villagers have kept up this tradition and I bet the children love their part in the celebrations, thanks I really enjoyed this.

23 Nov, 2010

 

great trees amy, how interesting to, has anyone tried palnting another one ;o))

23 Nov, 2010

amy
Amy
 

Thanks Lincslass / San it's a very interesting village apparently it's wealth was found in it's wool trade ... at the last count there were 103 Yews San .. .. LOL...

23 Nov, 2010

 

Fascinating Amy! Thanks for sharing this piece of history and folk lore. Your pictures are great. I guess it didn't pay to be a family pet back in the day!! I can't imagine eyeing Rosie with a hungry glint in my eye.

23 Nov, 2010

amy
Amy
 

LOL.. poor Rosie , I bet she ran under the table to hide ... :o)

23 Nov, 2010

 

great blog & pics Amy very interesting,lovely to hear the history of new places thank you..:o))

23 Nov, 2010

amy
Amy
 

You're welcome Joanella , I'm pleased you found it interesting :o)

23 Nov, 2010

 

lol amy, love to hear about legends and history of places ;o)

23 Nov, 2010

 

Amazing trees, Amy, another piece of folklore is that, as the trees can grow up to 90ft., parishioners and the priest could shelter beneath them. Many churches were built around Yew trees back in the day. I'm full of useless information ... lol!!

23 Nov, 2010

amy
Amy
 

Thats interesting Shirley if you noticed some of the trees are actually joined together like an arch near the gate perhaps thats why , for shelter .. :o))

23 Nov, 2010

 

Interesting blog Amy, They all look well manicured.

23 Nov, 2010

amy
Amy
 

They do don't they Littlelegs , at Blickling Hall here in Norfolk the Yew hedge trimmings are sent away to be processed for Cancer treatments , I wonder if these are ?

23 Nov, 2010

 

Very interesting blog i also like looking around old buildings and churches etc, but i did feel sorry for those little baby puppies.

24 Nov, 2010

 

Very interesting blog Amy....so many yews to trim .....I wonder whose job that is....:o((( They do look really impressive though.....Ooh Lottie don't listen, puppy dog pies....you'd only make a weeny one....Lol!

24 Nov, 2010

amy
Amy
 

You can't believe they did it can you Carol , I was watching the 'Hairy Bikers ' cooking while I was getting dinner ready yesterday and they were cooking Squirrel they said they were £1. each at the butchers :o(
I hope you covered Lottie's ears Janey , we wouldn't want to upset her , she's far to cute , we would protect her wouldn't we x

24 Nov, 2010

 

Squirrel? Noooo, that just doesn't seem fair! My OH reckons they'd have a nutty flavour ...

24 Nov, 2010

amy
Amy
 

I can't say I fancy Squirrel Shirley , the description sounds nice ' Nutty ' is your OH joking 'cos they eat nuts ...LOL...

24 Nov, 2010

 

Yes he is, Amy, a very peculiar sense of humour, I've put up with it for 32 years! Our son has inherited the same, not sure if that's a good thing or not......

24 Nov, 2010

amy
Amy
 

I'm sure it's good Shirley it keeps you on your toes .. :o)
I really thought he had been eating them at some point when I first read it .... LOL.......

24 Nov, 2010

 

LOL !!

24 Nov, 2010

 

I think squirrel is quiet a regular fare down in the southern United States...along with Opossum. Not sure I'd fancy it myself. I think the most unusual thing I've eaten has been bear....it was alright I suppose but I don't think I'd want to eat it regularly.

24 Nov, 2010

 

How interesting Amy. I love local history. The photos are great too :o)

25 Nov, 2010

amy
Amy
 

That is more unusual to eat Bear Gilli , I suppose if we were use to it it would then seem normal to us ... , we have a pub near us that sells Australian food Crocodile , Kangaroo etc. we haven't been in it but the carpark is always full !

Thanks Hywel it is an interesting place we could have done with arriving earlier to spent more time in daylight :-)

25 Nov, 2010

 

Crocodile??? Kangaroo??? Eeeewwww!!
When I was little I hated liver so much I thought it was crocodile meat! LOL
Poor Kangaroos! Over here Ostrich and Emu were popular for a while but the fad seems to have worn off.

25 Nov, 2010

amy
Amy
 

I think it's a gimmick to lure people into the pubs with something different , The fad might wear off quickly here as well ... I like a Liver onion and Bacon casserole , my cat Marmy loves liver and hangs about waiting for a little portion ........

25 Nov, 2010

 

The animals are the only ones who like liver in our house. I haven't eaten it since that awful stuff they gave us for school dinners. Turned me off it for life!!
Having said all that, I am making Moose stew for our supper. It smells good.

25 Nov, 2010

amy
Amy
 

I wish I could smell it Gilli , is it anything like Beef ? I'm having a beef casserole for supper ......

26 Nov, 2010

 

Very much like beef Amy, only stronger in flavour.

27 Nov, 2010

 

very interesting blog Amy..my limited knowledge of the subject thogh differs slightly from Shirley Tulip in that the reason for yew trees in church yards was to deter horses from eating flowers and the like on graves..Yew is poisonous to a horse..

incidently there is a yew tree that hides the oil tank here at mine..its riddled with disease and inside the trunk (once cut back) is rotten possibly by a leaky oil tank..i intend to reluctantly remove it sometime soon..

26 Feb, 2011

amy
Amy
 

It seems there are various different reasons for growing Yew trees in churchyards Skips ,they all seem quite plausible maybe it's even a mixture of all these things that would make sense .. what a shame your tree has come to the end of it's days , I hope you have had the leak fixed ! oil is far to expensive to lose these days , perhaps you should grow some prickly Berberis round the tank to deter would be thieves ..... :-)

26 Feb, 2011

 

Very interesting blog Amy, I always thought yew trees symbolised everlasting life and that was why they had them in churchyards. Our local church has some beauties:-)

6 Mar, 2011

amy
Amy
 

Hello Bornagain I've just brought this up on Google ,it looks as if this is the real reason ......
Yew trees were not planted in churchyards, generally the churches tended to be established around yew trees.
In parishes where there was no church, the vicar or preacher would often preach under the yew tree. This is because the yew tree is a native tree in the UK, so the trees were long established. When left to their own devices they can grow up to 90 feet and because they cast a deep shadow underneath, they offer a very sheltered area for parishioners who would not get wet or damp whilst listening to the preacher.
In some churchyards the yew trees are estimated to be at least 2,500 years old, so they definitely pre-date the churches!
Due to their role as the shelter for worship, the yew tree became associated, in the Christian tradition as being the tree of everlasting life and hence the association between tree and church was strengthened.
Interesting , it would seem that's it's all to do with the shelter the trees give :o)

7 Mar, 2011

 

They certainly are special Amy, and now used as a cancer treatment:-)

7 Mar, 2011

amy
Amy
 

Yes ! B.again , that's the most amazing thing isn't it .. :o)

7 Mar, 2011

 

It seems that quite a few poisonous plants actually can be very useful to medicine:-)

7 Mar, 2011

Add a comment

Featured on

Recent posts by amy

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    18 Sep, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    8 Aug, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 Mar, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Mar, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Sep, 2008

Garden centre