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The Church of St Mary and St Peter in Wilmington, and the adjacent priory to which it was once attached, date from about 1100AD. You might think that’s pretty old – and it is – but the Yew tree in the church grounds is even older – it is truly ancient.

180730 1600-yr-old yew (2)

Scientific testing has dated the Yew to around 1600 years old, meaning it must have been planted around 400AD. Its girth measures approximately 23 feet (7m), though the trunk has now split in two, and both its trunks and huge branches are supported by a variety of posts and chains. As I only had my zoom lens, I wasn’t able to get a good photo of the entire tree but I hope to revisit next time I’m in East Sussex. It was a truly humbling experience to see such an incredible tree.

180730 1600-yr-old yew (1)