For this weeks ‘culture’ trip I had the pleasure of being accompanied by the dear old GLW (eg good lady wife), as we set out to locate London’s ‘oldest’ tree – an ancient, gnarled, withered and stunted old thing………but she’s good to the kids (boom boom)
The subject matter is a thriving Yew tree that is situated in the small and peaceful churchyard of St Andrews, Totteridge, just up the hill from Totteridge & Whetstone tube station – the last but one stop on the Northern Line.
Research methods such as dendrochronology (e.g. tree ring dating to you and me) along with radiocarbon dating, that has been conducted by independent experts and scientists – has determined this Yew tree to be at least 2000 years old, thus making it the oldest living thing in London!!!
To put some perspective behind its presence and longevity – this tree is statistically a contemporary of Christ that has lived through 2000 summers and winters – it was already ‘ancient’ when the Normans conquered England – and could have quite possibly been sat on by a Roman centurion gazing down on the city of Londinium.
Whatever its experiences over the past centuries, this little known landmark, is still (in my opinion) an absolute wonder to behold, and long may it remain so.
I have provided a few photos of this remarkable landmark, which I hope you enjoy viewing.