The Majestic Wonder of a Tree That Has Stood for 800 Years

The parkland and woodland of Fredville Park in Nonington, Kent boasts a stunning variety of ancient trees, including the impressive ‘Majesty Oak’. This magnificent tree is one of the largest maiden oaks in the UK and is documented in various locations as the tallest English Oak in the country. Dating back to at least 1554, when it was known as the ‘Fredville Oak’, The Majesty Oak has been flourishing for centuries. Visitors have long made the pilgrimage to Fredville Park to marvel at this majestic tree.

The Plumptre family extended the original farmhouse in 1750, but unfortunately, it was destroyed in 1945 due to a fire caused by the military. The tree nearby is truly magnificent and awe-inspiring, with its stunning beauty and captivating presence that can make you feel a sense of excitement just by standing under its embracing branches.

Meet the English Oak, scientifically known as Quercus robur. This majestic tree has experienced some breakage in the past and is currently dealing with a major bifurcated branch that has fallen off. The interesting thing about this fallen branch is that it’s buried into the ground by its two sub-branches, while the other end is wedged against the tree trunk, three meters above ground level.

Although the outside of the tree seems sturdy, upon closer inspection, one can notice that there are two sections where large branches have fallen off. Peering into these areas reveals that the inside of the tree is actually hollow, forming a chimney-like structure that extends from the base all the way to the top.

At a different spot, you can peer through a section where a small branch has snapped off and get a glimpse of the inside of the hollow tree trunk, all the way to the other end. I’ve included four recent pictures of the tree, along with an old one that I obtained permission to use from the Game Keeper, Mr. [Name].

According to Clarke, the photo was likely taken around 1890 to 1910 and features ‘The Majesty Oak’ near a farmhouse that was still standing at the time. Interestingly, there were no other trees nearby back then, but now the oak is surrounded by them for protection. If you look at a satellite image of the location today, you can see where the farmhouse once stood – it’s a flat area to the northeast of the tree.

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