Hall, Tony

Yew trees are some of the oldest living organisms in Europe, with particular individuals thought to be over 2,000 years old. Often found growing in churchyards, the English yew or common yew (Taxus baccata) is surrounded in myth and mystery, and its influence can be found throughout history.

Author Tony Hall provides profiles on over 75 publicly accessible yews, with details on their appearance, location, folklore and history, all accompanied with photographs of these stunning individuals. Each tree has its own story to tell, from fragmented, sprawling trunks, ones you can sit inside of, and ancient individuals propped up.

Tony describes that many of the magnificent ancient yew trees alive today are situated in churchyards, but are thought to be pre-Christian, pre-dating the churches they sit beside. Being an evergreen tree, the yew was believed to be particularly sacred and long associated with rebirth, and as a result many of the churchyards where ancient yews grow were originally sites of Druid or Celtic worship. The link between churches and the yew became so established that when new churches were built, yew trees were planted next to them.

Yew trees support a huge biodiversity, from wildflowers, to insects and wild animals. Their future is at risk due to factors such as increasing age and climate change, and with this book Tony hopes to raise the profiles of these magnificent individuals, and promote their locations, for people to visit and invest in their continued longevity.

In stock

SKU: 21363 Categories: , , ,


Kew Publishing, December 2018.  224 pages, hardcover, 100 colour photographs