An Ancient Oak in Birchland Wood

Image ID: 21854

An Ancient Oak in Birchland Wood

Courtesy of Nottinghamshire Archives

Sherwood Forest Country Park

There is, about five miles from Welbeck, on Sherwood forest, and in the Duke of Portland's manor, a beautiful wood, or rather grove, consisting of above ten thousand old oaks, with birches intermixed, from whence it is called Birchland; the whole occupying space of about eighteen hundred acres. On the north side of the great riding is a most curious ancient oak, which, before the depredations made by time on its venerable trunk might almost have vied with the celebrated Cowthorpe oak for size. See the north-east view of this tree in Plate IX. It measures, near the ground, 34 feet 4 inches in circumference; at one yard, 27 feet 4 inches; at two yards 31 feet 9 inches. The trunk, which is wonderfully distorted, plainly appears to have been much larger; and the parts from whence large pieces have fallen off are distinguishable; the inside is decayed and hollowed out by age, which, with the assistance of the axe, might be made wide enough to admit a carriage through it. I think no one can behold this majestic ruin without pronouncing it to be of very remote antiquity; and might venture to say, that it cannot be much less than a thousand years old.

Date: 1790

Organisation Reference: NCCW001194


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