Ashbrittle Yew

Ashbrittle Yew The tree has a hollow central trunk, with six smaller ones surrounding it. This distinctive form may have arisen long ago as the tree repaired itself after damage or infection in its original trunk. Yew trees often regenerate themselves in this way and, in fact, have a bit of a reputation for immortality because of it. The heartwood of ancient yews is sometimes eaten away by fungi which leave the tree hollow but much more resilient against wind and storms. Any heavy branches that droop to the ground will eventually root themselves there. If disease causes the central trunk to split the segments of trunk can also root and create a ring of new trees..... The mound beneath the tree is thought by many to be Bronze Age and a pre-Roman chief is said to be buried there. According to local legend, the church was built on a druidic circle near which battles between Celts and invading Roman soldiers took place, and the heads of fallen Roman soldiers were brought triumphantly back here to be buried. Indeed, yew trees were very important to the Celts. The yew occupied the most important point in their "tree calendar," the autumn festival of Samhain. This festival marked the end of the Celtic year. The seeming immortality of the yew represented the cycle of change and regeneration that the Celts saw in all forms of life. Many Christian churches were later built near yhttp://www.timetravel-britain.com/articles/country/yew.shtmlews, continuing the association with ceremony