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Bulstrode Camp

Bulstrode Camp - photo by Russell Read

Bulstrode Camp, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, is an Iron Age hill fort thought to date back to about 400BC. It is a flat open area covering about 23 acres and surrounded by a double ring of ramparts, still very impressive in spite of being eroded and overgrown in places.

In 1847, George Lipscomb in his History and Antiquities of the County of Buckingham volume VIII wrote:

"On a hill south-east of the House, there is a very large circular entrenchment with some large old oaks growing on its banks."

map by Chris and Russel Read

These oaks which seemed old in 1847 still stand and can now truly be described as ancient - but are inevitably in various stages of decline. Some have already died leaving only dramatically bare skeletons to tell of their former glory whilst others are remarkably healthy and sending out promising new growth. More than 40 of them have now been recorded using a GPS system by volunteers Chris and Russell Read and are marked on the adjacent map.

Photo by Russell ReadThe largest tree has a girth of more than 6 metres. This one and some of the other ancient oaks date back at least to the late 17th century when the Bulstrode estate was laid out - probably even earlier than that. Clearly many of them were showing signs of collapse and hollowing around 1900 when brickwork was inserted to support them. In some cases the trees have grown over and round these brick infills and in others the brickwork has fallen out but the trees have survived regardless. This shows why this form of tree preservation is no longer used by arboriculturalists.
Photo by Russell Read

There are more huge old trees in Bulstrode park and along Camp Road which runs around the perimeter of the Camp.

Location

Gerrard's Cross

Grid Reference

SU995880

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