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Heritage Trees in Kent: 60 trees for 60 years

PUBLISHED: 18:00 03 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:27 20 February 2013

Penshurst Place, home of the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, has marked the Queen's Diamond Jubilee by restoring a lost 18th plantation with 60 sweet chestnut trees laid out in a diamond-shape copse

Heritage Trees in Kent: 60 trees for 60 years



Penshurst Place, home of the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, has marked the Queens Diamond Jubilee by restoring a lost 18th plantation with 60 sweet chestnut trees laid out in a diamond-shape copse


In 1953 the Late Viscount De LIsle planted seven Sidney Oaks along the roadside south west of the then recently restored Coronation Plantation, opposite Beggars Barn Farm, to represent his first wife Jacqueline Viscountess De LIsle, himself, his son Philip and daughters Elizabeth, Catherine, Anne and Lucy.


This year, to celebrate HM The Queens Diamond Jubilee and in continuation of the tradition of making celebratory plantings, Lord De LIsle has restored a plantation of 60 standard sweet chestnut trees, thought to have previously been planted in the reign of Elizabeth I.


Four oak saplings, grown from the 1,000-year old Sydney oak tree that still miraculously clings to life on the Penshurst Estate, will be incorporated at the centre of the sweet chestnut plantation and a Holm Oak planted on each point of the diamond.


The first Holm Oak was planted at a ceremony attended by The Association of Men of Kent and Kentish Men (AMKKM) West Kent Branch, who approached The Penshurst Place Estate for permission to plant a tree as a permanent record of The Queen's reign. It also symbolises the Associations interests in both the monarchy and our county of Kent the Past, the Present and the Future.


Lord De LIsle, who was keen to do something memorable to mark the occasion and as Lord Lieutenant of Kent welcomes the inclusion of the Holm Oak, agreed at once and on the day wielded the spade with aplomb.


At the centre of the diamond-shaped copse a further four Sidney Oaks will be planted representing Isobel Viscountess De LIsle, himself, his son (also Philip) and daughter Sophia.


The planting of these trees will take place on 30 November 2012, the 458th anniversary of the birth of Sir Philip Sidney, the celebrated courtier, soldier and poet after whom all the male heirs have been named ever since.


Ben Thomas, general manager of Penshurst Place and Gardens said: Our original heritage management plan, drawn up by Colvin and Moggeridge in 1984, envisaged replanting the original 18th century sweet chestnut plantation in the parkland.


This plantation serves both the jubilee woods project and the heritage plan, leaving a lasting and sustainable legacy for future generations.



DID YOU KNOW?


● The Sidney Oak in Penshurst Park is thought to be more than 1,000 years old and in 2002 was one of The Queens 50 Golden Jubilee Trees



● The Holm Oak is of great significance to the Association of Men of Kent and Kentish Men. When William the Conqueror landed at Ebbsfleet to conquer Kent, he was surrounded by the armies of the Men of Kent and the Kentish Men, who hid behind Holm Oak boughs. At a signal they dropped the boughs and surprised William who, being outnumbered, parleyed with both groups and the negotiations produced an agreement that he would allow to keep their old Kentish customs (such as Gavelkind) if they accepted him as their King. This is why Kent's motto still today is Invicta (unconquered) and why old Kentish people never refer to William as the Conqueror,


as we were the only county he did not conquer. Instead they call him the Duke of Normandy or simply William the Bastard. The Holm Oak became a symbol of peace, carried by the Men of Kent and Kentish Men. Some commentators say that the Holm Oak did not appear in England until the reign of Henry VIII. However, AMKMM believes it was more likely brought in by the Romans as it is a common tree in Northern Italy



● The jubilee plantation at Penshust Place and Gardens is to be registered on the royal record by the Woodland Trust



● Penshurst Place and the Estate have stood on the banks of the river Medway since the 14th century, when the medieval Barons Hall was built as a country retreat for the Lord Mayor of London, Sir John de Pulteney. The property was owned by many Dukes and Nobles with Royal blood in their veins, until King Henry VIII forfeited it from the previous owner, the Duke of Buckingham in 1521. It was then used by Henry and his friends as a hunting lodge.



● In 1552 the property was gifted by Edward VI to a member of the noble courtier family, the Sidneys, in whose familys hands it has been ever since and is currently owned by Philip Sidney, 2nd Viscount De LIsle MBE, Her Majestys Lord Lieutenant of Kent.



GET IN TOUCH


Penshurst Place & Gardens


Penshurst near Tonbridge TN11 8DG


01892 870307

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