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A Case of Mistaken Identity

BCC Photo Archive: Chalfont St Peter 'view across grounds to Chalfont Park Hotel’. [1935 – 1939]

When shown this 1930s photo of "the greatest ash tree in England" standing tall and proud in front of Chalfont Park, we just had to find out more about it. The tree was measured in 1860, when its girth was recorded as 25ft.

The 'Ash', actually an American Plane - photo by Graham BradshawVolunteer Graham accepted the challenge to investigate the 'greatest ash' further. He went to Chalfont Park and located the impressive tree with aid of the photo. Graham measured the tree and confirmed that in the intervening years it has grown a little. The girth is now 27 feet 7 inches (or 8.41m).

However, after examining the leaves Graham realised the tree is not the 'greatest ash in England' but an American plane. Could it be that this tree has been mistaken as an ash for 150 years or was there originally an ash tree that died and was replaced by the plane?

If you think you know where the 'greatest ash' in Chalfont Park is, then please get in touch.Chalfont Park - photo by Graham Bradshaw

Getting There

The tree is on private land but can be seen from the road.


Chalfont St Peter

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