Cowthorpe Oak

All Resolutions

The Cowthorpe oak.

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Strutt, Jacob George


Landscapes & Places, Plants
Strutt, Jacob George
Landscape (wider)
Lloyd Library and Museum, The Internet Archive


Sylva Britannica
Strutt, Jacob George
London: Henry G. Bohn, 1826
Open Library:
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View of a venerable, gnarled oak tree standing in farmland, with pigs roaming freely around its trunk, an idle cart stationed in the foreground, and farm buildings in the background. This tree is decribed as follows by the author:

This gigantic and venerable tree stands at the extremity of the village of Cowthorpe, near Wetherby, in Yorkshire; in a retired field, sheltered on one side by the ancient church belonging to the place, and on another by a farm-house; the rural occupations of which exactly accord with the character of the Oak, whose aged arms are extended towards it, with a peculiar air of rustic vigour, retained even in decay; like some aged peasant, whose toil-worn limbs still give evidence of the strength which enabled him to acquit himself of the labours of his youth. It is mentioned by the late Doctor Hunter, in his edition of Evelyn’s Sylva, in the following note on a passage respecting the extraordinary size of an Oak in Sheffield Park. “Neither this, nor any of the Oaks mentioned by Mr. Evelyn, bear any proportion to one now growing at Cowthorpe, near Wetherby, upon an estate belonging to the Right Hon. Lady Stourton. The dimensions are almost incredible. Within three feet of the surface, it measures sixteen yards, and close by the ground twenty-six yards. Its height in its present ruinous state (1776) is almost eighty-five feet, and its principal limb extends sixteen yards from the bole. Throughout the whole tree, the foliage is extremely thin, so that the anatomy of the ancient branches may be distinctly seen in the height of summer. When compared to this, all other trees are but children of the Forest.”
—Book 11. page 500.

This description so nearly answers to the present state of the tree, that it does not appear to have suffered any considerable deprivation since the above period.


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