Yew Tree in the Churchyard, Donnington

Recent Photograph of Yew Tree in the Churchyard (Donnington)

NOTE: the Yew Tree in the Churchyard at Donnington was estimated as over 480 years old by David Bellamy's “Yew Tree Campaign” in 1988. Other experts dispute this on the basis of current growth rates and tree girth, saying it is more recent.

Whatever the truth of the matter, Yew Trees certainly have a long association with Churchyards. Tradition claims they were planted by royal command, their wood being at one time deemed an essential commodity in the defence of the realm. At the Battle of Agincourt, the skill of the English Longbow Archers was the deciding factor in bringing victory to Henry V, and as a consequence, the King, having decided he was onto a winner, decreed the responsibility should rest with every parish for providing the raw material - wood from yew trees - for making them.
Or so it is said...

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

Image contributed by Rosemary Lockie on 21st June 1997.
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