Special Trees volunteer Dorothy first became aware of Jeremiah's Tree when she spotted it on the Ordnance Survey map. Dorothy says:
"On my next free day, when the weather was good I drove to Barton-le-Clay, parked up by the church and set out on foot with the map to see if I could find Jeremiah's Tree.
"I was hoping to find a massive old tree but instead found a big tree stump!"
Next to the stump a small oak tree has been planted as a replacement for the original Jeremiah's Tree. This was planted in March 1998 by the Barton Conservation Group.
The old tree stump is about 200 years old and used to be used as a hanging tree, giving it a supposedly 'evil atmosphere'.
There are stories about a ghostly figure seen around Barton, who is a man dressed in 18th century breeches, jacket and hat, believed to be someone who was hanged on Jeremiah's Tree. In the terrible winter of 1962 a new arrival in Barton-le-Clay, bringing the last of their belongings to their new home, had a big shock when the ghostly figure crossed their path.
Before the time even of this old tree, the area is thought to have been the site of a Saxon 'Folk Moot' - an early version of trial by jury where a man accused of a crime would be examined by the eldest male of each family in the area, who would then decide whether he was guilty. If the verdict was not in his favour, the punishment would likely be swift and brutal, and perhaps long-ago Saxon victims also contribute to the eerie atmosphere around this spot.
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