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Llangernyw Yew The Ancient Tree

This incredible male yew tree resides in a small churchyard of St. Dygain's Church in Llangernyw village, north Wales. The tree is fragmented and its core part has been lost, leaving several enormous offshoots. The girth of the tree at the ground level is 10.75 m. Although it is very hard to determine the age of yew trees,the churchyard gate holds a certificate from the Yew Tree Campaign in 2002, signed by David Bellamy, which states that "according to all the data we have to hand" the tree is dated to between 4,000 and 5,000 years old, the Llangernyw Yew was planted sometime in the prehistoric Bronze Age — and it's still growing! 

According to local tradition, the church of Llangernyw is inhabited by an ancient spirit known as Angelystor (the "Recording Angel" or "Evangelist" in Welsh). This tradition holds that every year at Halloween a booming voice foretells the names of parishioners who will die the following year. Folklore tells of a disbelieving local man, SiƓn Ap Rhobert, who challenged the existence of the spirit one Halloween night only to hear his own name called out, followed by his death within the year.

In 2002, in celebration of the golden jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, the tree was designated as one of 50 Great British trees by the Tree Council.


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