The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian




Kathleen Wiltshire's story below apparently harks back to when General Pitt Rivers excavated a round barrow here. Winkelbury was his first full season of serious, well-recorded excavations of enclosures and settlement sites, in winter 1881-2. He removed a dead yew tree, known locally as a 'scrag' from the round barrow. 'The villagers were troubled by his disturbance of the dead and removal of the ancient tree which they believed protected them from malign influences; they were only placated when another dead yew was 'planted' with all due ceremony some time later.'

From Martin Green's book 'A landscape revealed - 10,000 years on a chalkland farm' (2000).

Yews and hawthorn obviously figure prominently in people's lists of important trees. The idea of a dead tree being protective seems quite strange? but maybe it's not uncommon. It reminded me of the anecdote connected with Big Tree longbarrow in Somerset.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
18th August 2005ce
Edited 18th August 2005ce

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