Mystery of ancient Horsham tree that is one of the oldest in England

Mystery surrounds one of the oldest trees in England which sits in the heart of the Horsham district.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 12:57 pm
Updated Monday, 29th November 2021, 12:58 pm

No-one seems to know exactly how old it is.

But everyone accepts that the tree - a yew at St Giles Church in Coldwaltham - is more than 1,000 years old.

However, some say it is 2,000 years old and others that it has been growing there for an incredible 3,000 years.

The tree is the oldest in the Horsham district and is over 1,000 years old

The dispute has been resurrected as this week (from November 27 to December 5) is National Tree Week.

Thousands of trees are being planted across the country to mark the start of the winter tree planting season.

The ancient yew tree at St Giles Church was planted many moons ago and is situated in the north west corner of the churchyard.

Arun churches say the treeis believed to be over 3,000 years old.

Horsham District Council says the tree is definitely over 1,000 years.

St Giles’ Church itself was built around 1200 and renovated in Victorian times.

Yews are known to be among the longest-living trees and Kingley Vale near Chichester is renowned for its twisted and ancient yews and a grove of veteran trees which are among the oldest living things in Britain.

The Woodland Trust says that the Fortingall Yew in Perthshire is believed to be the UK’s oldest tree, with an estimated age between 2,000 and 3,000 years.

The 2,500-year-old Ankerwycke Yew near Runnymede is thought to be the oldest in National Trust care.