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this last-named oak, and also to the German tree castles, and hermit's cell and chapel, I would merely observe that St. Bartholomew's, in the hamlet of Kingsland, between London and Hackney, which, beside the ordinary furniture of a place of religious worship, viz. desks for the minister and clerk, altar, staircase, stove, &c., has pews and seats for 120 persons (upwards of 100 have been in it at the same time; and, a few weeks ago, the author (writing in 1829) made one of a congregation therein assembled of nearly 80: 76 or 77 were counted; when the pews were by no means crowded, and plenty of room left vacant): still this chapel is nearly 9 ft. less in width, and only 17 in. more in length, than the ground plot of the Cowthorp Oak. In fact, the tree occupies upwards of 30 square feet more ground than does the chapel. The Duke's Walkingstick, in Welbeck Park, was higher than the roof of Westminster Abbey. The long oaken table in Dudley Castle (a single plank cut out of the trunk of an oak growing in the neighbourhood) measured considerably longer than the bridge that crosses the lake in the Regent's Park ; and the famous roof of Westminster Hall, the span of which is among the greatest ever built without pillars, is little more than one third the width of the Worksop Spread Oak ; the branches of which would reach over Westminster Hall, placed on either side of its trunk, and have nearly 32 ft. to spare ; and its extent is nearly 30 ft. more than the length, and almost four times the width, of Guildhall, in the city of London. The rafters of Westminster Hall roof, though without pillars, have massive walls on each side to support them; but the tree boughs, of 16 ft. more extent, are sustained at one end only. Architects, who know the stress a staircase of even 8 ft. or 10 ft. in width has upon the wall into which the side is built, can alone fairly estimate the excessive purchase which branches on either side, spanning from outbough to outbough 180 ft., must have on the central trunk.” (Burgess's Eidodendron.) In Hunter's Evelyn is mentioned," the strange and incredible bulk of some oaks growing in Westphalia, whereof one served both for a castle and a fort; and another there, which contained in height 130 ft., and, as some report, 30 ft. in diameter.” (vol. ii. p. 185.)
Timber produced by single Oak Trees. Bridge, in his History of Northamptonshire, records that one of the rooms in the house of Sir John Dryden, at Ashby Canons, 30 ft. long and 20 ft. wide, was entirely floored and wainstoted from a single oak; and the same is said to have been the case with a soom, 42 ft. long and 27 ft. broad, in the mansion at Tredegar Park. These must have been noble trees, yet still inferior to the large Gelonos Oak, felled in Monmouthshire, A.D. 1810; and which has been often cited as an example of vast ligneous production. The bark, Burnet says, he has been informed from a memorandum furnished to Mr. Burgess (the artist, and author of Eidodendron), was sold by the merchant for the scarcely credible sum of 2001. This oak was purchased by Mr. Thomas Harrison for 100 gụineas, as stated in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1817, under the apprehension of its being unsound; but Burnet tells us that it was resold, while still standing, for 405l.; and that the cost of converting it was 821.; amounting altogether to 4871. : it was subsequently resold for 6751. There were at least 400 rings, or traces of annual growth, within its mighty trunk. The above far exceeded the contents of the oak felled in Lord Scarsdale's park, at Kedleston, in 1805 (an account of which is given in Farey's Derbyshire Reports); although that was a very fine tree, containing 550 ft. of timber, and sold, with its 9 tons of bark (green), top and lop, roots, &c., for upwards of 2001. And even the great Middlesceugh Oak, the property of Sir F. Vane, Bart., was far inferior. This tree was felled in 1821, and contained 670 ft. of solid wood: it yielded a ton of bark, and was said to have required 13 waggons to move it.” (Amæn. Quer., fol. 15.) The Gelonos Oak mentioned above, which was cut down in 1810, grew about four miles from Newport, in Monmouthshire. The main trunk was 10 ft. long, and produced 450 cubic feet of timber; I limb, 355 ft. ; 1 ditto, 472 ft. ; 1 ditto, 113ft.; and 6 other limbs, of inferior size, averaged 93 ft. each; making a total of 2426 cubic feet of convertible timber. The bark was estimated at 6 tons; but, as some of the very heavy body bark was stolen out of the barge at Newport, the exact weight is not known. Five men were 20 days stripping and cutting down this tree; and two sawyers were 5 months converting it, without losing a day, Sundays excepted. The main trunk was 94 ft. in diameter; and, in sawing it through, a stone was discovered 6 ft. from the ground, above a yard in the body of the tree, through which the saw cut. The stone was about 6 in. in diameter, and was completely shut in; but around it there was not the least symptom of decay. The rings in the but were carefully. counted, and amounted to upwards of four hundred in number; a convincing proof that this tree was in an improving state for upwards of four hundred years ; and, as the ends of some of its branches were decayed, and had dropped off, it is presumed that it had stood a great number of years after it had attained maturity. (Literary Panorama for August, 1815; and Gent. Mag. for October, 1817, p. 305.) The Northwick Oak, Blockley, Worcestershire, which, when felled, was about 300 years old, had a girth, at 5 ft. from the ground, of 21 ft.; its smallest girth was 18 ft.; height to the branches, 30 ft. ; solid contents of the body, 234 ft.; and of the arms, 200 ft. (Gent. Mag., 1791, p. 612.) The oak which was felled in Withy Park, near Wenlock in Shropshire, in 1697, spread 114 ft. : the trunk was 9 ft. in diameter, exclusive of the bark. “ It contained 24 cords of yard wood, 11} cords of 4 ft. wood; 252 park pales 6 ft. long; 1 load of cooper's wood; 64 tons of timber in the boughs; 28 tons of timber in the body; and all this besides faggots, notwithstanding several boughs had dropped off in Mr. Wilde's father's and grandfather's time. The stem was so wide, that two men could thrash on it without striking each other. Several trees which grew at Cunsborough were bought by a cooper at 101. per yard, for 9 ft. or 10 ft. high; and Ralph Archdall felled a tree in Sheffield Park of 13 ft. diameter at the kerf; and there was another, standing near the old ford, of 10 yards in compass.” (Hunt. Evel., č. p. 194.) In the hall in Goodrich Castle, Herefordshire, there is, says Grose, a beam of oak, without a knot, 66 ft. long, and near 2 ft. square the whole length. Evelyn mentions a large oaken plank, cut from a tree felled by his grandfather's order, at Wootton, 5 ft. wide, 9 ft. 6 in. in length, and 6 in. thick, all entire and clear; and Dr. Plot notices a table in Dudley Castle hall, already mentioned (p. 1777.), which was cut out of a tree which grew in the park, all of one plank, above 75 ft. long, and 3 ft. wide throughout its whole extent; and which, being too long for the castle hall, 7 yards 9 in. were obliged to be cut off. The mainmast of the Royal Sovereign, built in Charles I.'s time, was 100 ft. long, save one, and within 1 in. of a yard in thickness, all of one piece of oak : several of the beams of the same ship were 44 ft. in length, 4 of which were cut from an oak which grew in Framlingham, in Suffolk. Marcennas states that the great ship called the Craven, which was built in France, had its keel timbers 120 ft. long, and the mainmast 85 ft. high, and 12 ft. in diameter at the base. An oak is mentioned as fallen in Sheffield Park, of so great a girth, that, when the trunk lay flat on level ground, two men on horseback, on opposite sides, could not see the crowns of each other's hats. Dr. Plot records a similar circumstance as noticed of another immense oak at Newbury, which, he says, was 15 yards in girth. The Lord's Oak, at Rivelin, was 12 yards about, and the top yielded 21 cords of wood; its diameter, 3 yards 28 in. The Lady Oak was 5 ft. square for 40 ft., contained 42 tons of timber, and its boughs gave 25 cords of fuel; and another, in the Hall Park, close by, gave 18 yards, without bough or knot; being 3 ft. 6 in. square at top, and not much bigger near the root. Arthur's round table must, as Gilpin observes, have been cut from a tree of immense girth, as it measures, according to Grose, 18 ft. in diameter. Now, this is 18 ft. of solid heart wood; and, if the depth of sap wood, in which it must have been environed, be taken into the account, we shall have the dimensions of a most enormous tree. Out of such oaks as these must those ancient canoes, described by Sir Joseph Bankes as exhumed
in Lincolnshire, have been excavated. (Amen. Quer.) “ It is recorded in the Annual Register for 1796, that some labourers, while digging for a fish-pond in the grounds of Lord Grenville, at Dropmore, discovered a great number of oaks buried 10 ft. or 12 ft. deep in the earth, and averaging 50 ft. long, all perfectly sound timber. At Litchett Park, in 1740, an oak was discovered 3ft. under ground, which measured 53 ft. in length, and gave 4ft. at the side of the square : there were 33 ft. more of top raised afterwards; so that the whole oak was 86 ft. long. In the year 1815, there was a part of an oak drawn out of the Thames, near the ferry at Twickenham, with great difficulty, by 24 horses. It measured 20 ft. in circumference; and Philips says, it is known to have lain in the river upwards of 150 years. Among the vast quantities of bog timber annually raised out of the fens in Lincolnshire, a few years ago one log was taken up, near Sleaford, that contained 300 solid feet of timber; and, in the year 1811, one was dug up that contained 400 solid feet.” (Amæn. Quer., fol. 15.)
Bull Oaks. These are all very old trees, and hollow; and they are called bull oaks, from bulls taking shelter within them, which they effect, not by going in and turning round, but by retreating backwards into the cavity till the head alone projects at the aperture. Mr. South, in the Bath Society's Papers, 1783, describes an ancient hollow tree, in the middle of a pasture, and bearing the most venerable marks of antiquity, which gives the name, compounded of itself and its situation, to the farm on which it grows, viz. Oakley Farm. The hollow part of this tree was long the favourite retreat of a bull; and 20 people, old and young, have crowded into it at one time. A calf being shut up there for convenience, its dam, a two-years-old heifer, constantly went in to suckle it, and left sufficient room for milking her. It is supposed, adds he, to be near 1000 years old : the body is nothing but a shell, covered with burly protuberances. The upper part of the shaft is hollow, like a chimney. It has been mutilated of all its limbs; but from their stumps arise a number of small branches, forming a bushy head, so remarkable for fertility, that, in years of plenty, it has produced two sacks of acorns in a season. It measured in the middle, round the burls, 29 ft. 3 in.; round the stumps of the old arms, 31 ft. 6 in.; and in the smallest part, between 2 st. and 3 ft. from the ground, it is 26 ft. in circumference. The aperture into the tree is a small ill-formed Gothic arch, which appears to have been originally " hewn out or enlarged with an axe; and the bark,” continues Mr. South, now curls over the wound; a sure sign that it continues growing.” (Bath Soc. Papers, vol. vi. p. 45.) There are many bull oaks in different parts of the country; but that in Wedgenock Park (fig. 1625.) is, probably, one of the largest. It has been long since fenced round with substantial posts and rails, and has had the two extremities of its projecting limbs supported from beneath by strong pieces of timber. (See Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. iii. p. 553.)
Boundary Oaks. Several of these might be mentioned. The Border Oak, which stands on the confines of Wales and England, is more remarkable for its situation than for its size: it forms the boundary between Shropshire and the Principality, as the County Oak, about 30 miles from London, does between Surrey and Sussex. The last-named tree is hollow, and contains within it seats for nine persons. The Gospel Oak, fig. 1628., is a boundary oak dividing the parish of Stoneleigh in Warwickshire, from the parish of Baginton. There are many Gospel Oaks in different parts of England, relics, as the Rev. W. T. Bree observes (Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. iii. p. 553.), of the religion of our ancestors :“ Relligione patrum multos servala per annos."
VIRGIL. The custom, says Mr. Strutt, “ of marking the boundaries of parishes, by the inhabitants going round them once every year, and stopping at certain spots to perform different ceremonies, in order that the localities might be impressed on the memories of both young and old, is of great antiquity, and may be
traced back to the time of the Romans, who observed a similar custom at the annual festivals called Terminalia, held in honour of the god Terminus who was considered as the guardian of fields and landmarks, and the promoter of friendship and peace among men. It was introduced among Christians about the year 800, by the pious Avitus, bishop of Vienna, in a season of dearth and calamity, and has been continued since his time by the different clergy; the minister of each parish, accompanied by his church wardens and parishioners, going round the bounds and limits of his parish in Rogation Week, or on one of the three days before Holy Thursday (the feast of our Lord's Ascension), and stopping at remarkable spots and trees to recite passages from the Gospels, and implore the blessing of the Almighty on the fruits of the earth, and for the preservation of the rights and properties of the parish.” (Mag. Nat. Hist., iii. 558.) The Plestor Oak, described in White's Selborne, was also a boundary tree, used to mark the extent of the Pleystow, or play-place for the children of the village. This oak is described by White as having“ a short squat body, and huge horizontal arms extending almost to the extremity of the area; surrounded with stone steps, and seats above them, the delight of old and young, and a place of much
the former sate in grave debate,
Oak Trees with conjoined Trunks. C
for them to the Rev. W. T. Bree. Figs. 1626. and 1627. are illustrative of only four trees ; a and aa being two
views of the same trunk. A smaller tree, growing near this one, and represented by b, has the junction of the trunks nearer the ground. Another specimen, growing near a farm-house, is represented by d; and a fourth one by c. All these oaks are within a short distance of each other; and Mr. Bree thinks the trunks were probably joined artificially by some one who had a fancy for such experiments. They are all of the species Q. pedunculàta. The figures are to a scale of lin. to 12 ft.
Oaks conjoined with other Trees. The oak being a tree of great duration, and its trunk, in the course of years, spreading wider than that of many trees, not unfrequently grows round the stems of trees which grow close by it; or, its trunk becoming hollow, and the head being broken off by storms, other trees frequently spring up within it, and produce a flourishing head encased with an oak trunk. Hence, we have an oak conjoined with an ash near the lake at Welbeck, figured in Rooke's Remarkable Oaks, &c., pl. 6. This ash grows out of the bottom of a large oak, “to which it adheres to the height of about 6 ft.; it there separates, and leaves a space of nearly 3 ft. in height. Here, as if unwilling to be disunited, it stretches out an arm, or little protuberance, to coalesce again with the fostering oak.” At Bearwood, near Reading,
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