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Wooburn Manor Park

Wooburn Manor Park cedars - photo by Janet PullenCedar

Standing at the heart of Wooburn Manor Park this beautiful blue atlas cedar rises to 25m and has a girth of  5.2m. Close by, on the open land where it grows, is a younger specimen which one day may replace the older tree. In the early days of telegraphy this handsome tree supported wires from the Manor to the outbuildings. An insulator can still be seen on its trunk.

Special volunteers dwarfed by the plane

Along with the Palace Plane the cedar may be part of the planting scheme undertaken 300 years ago by Thomas Marquis of Wharton, who was then the Lord of Wooburn Manor. The story goes that he set out to plant all the trees mentioned in the Bible.

Thomas was a wealthy and important man who spent £30,000 on the manor house and gardens at the beginning of the 18th Century. There are other trees to be seen here which might be part of this scheme.

Sadly, if he actually fulfilled this ambition most of the evidence was probably bull-dozed in 1963 when Wooburn Manor Park was built.

Cut-leaved walnut - photo by Janet Pullen, project volunteer

Cut-leaved walnut

At 12m tall and with a girth of 1½m you might be forgiven for overlooking this treasure. Experts date it as being the same age as the Palace Plane (300 years old) and a walnut is mentioned in the Bible. Its importance lies in its rarity - there is no reference to another one on the web!

This tree is in a private garden but can be seen from the roadside.

Mulberry - photo by Janet Pullen, project volunteerMulberry

Another Biblical tree, this specimen is in the recreation ground behind the Palace Plane. It is a thriving example of the black mulberry tree, imported to the UK at the command of James I in 1608. He ordered 10,000 be imported in the mistaken belief that they would form the basis of a home-grown silk industry. Sadly ,silk worms only like white mulberry trees.

At only 7m tall and 1.4m round this tree is not exceptionally large, but it is fruitful.

Poplars - photo by Janet Pullen, project volunteer


On the edge of the recreation ground, a little south-east of the plane tree, there are two poplars.

These white poplars are not as young as they seem and as poplars appear in the Bible they may have been part of the 18th Century scheme. The story goes that these two are the re-grown stumps at the beginning of an avenue which went all the way to the church across what is now the cricket pitch and the recreational ground.

Holm oak - photo by Janet Pullen, project volunteer

Holly or holm oak

This evergreen beauty is the sixth example of a tree which appears in the Bible. Holly Oaks do not grow as fast as plane trees so, with a girth of 3.5m, there may be no difference in age between the two.

This tree bears small pointy acorns and keeps its leaves throughout winter, shedding them when new ones come.

The tree dominates a back garden and is best viewed from Wooburn Mews.

Ash - photo by Janet Pullen, project volunteer

An ancient ash

Probably the oldest tree in the area, this veteran has a girth of more than 5m and is 16m high. Its position near a field boundary may have ensured its survival to date and it probably planted itself.

It looks like Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree and as she lived in Bourne End for a while, who knows? It may have inspired her popular story.

Copper Beech - photo by Janet Pullen, project volunteer

Copper beech

Over-shadowed in majesty by the neighbouring cedar (see top), this is still a grand tree. Not a biblical tree, and probably not as old as the cedar, it was planted nearer the manor house by a later generation.

It grows in a private garden but is best viewed from a short distance away.

Wellingtonia - photo by Janet Pullen, project volunteer

Giant redwood or Wellingtonia

Last but not least, this is the tallest of them all. It was planted later than the Biblical trees and is actually in a private garden on Manor Gardens but it can be seen from most parts of Wooburn Manor Gardens. The name Wellingtonia was given to it when it was first imported, in 1853, in honour of the Duke who had recently died.

This Wooburn tree also has a telegraph wire holder embedded in its trunk.

Getting There

From the A4094 turn into Wooburn Manor Park, turn left and left again.


Wooburn Green

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