By Calvin Palmer
Shugborough Hall, once the seat of the Earls of Lichfield, has entered the record books.
A yew tree in the gardens of the Staffordshire stately home, now owned by the National Trust, has been recorded in the Tree Register of the British Isles as the largest spreading crown of any tree in Britain and Ireland.
The 350-year-old specimen has a crown circumference of 576 feet (175.5 meters), the size of London’s Royal Albert Hall.
“This remarkable tree has spent most of its life growing naturally sideways rather than upwards,” said David Alderman, from TROBI.
“Many of its branches have rooted themselves, providing even more vigor as it has engulfed other trees originally planted 25 meters away.
“As yew trees can live for 1,000 years or more, if left unchecked, this tree could potentially keep growing ever wider and eventually cover the whole estate.”
Shugborough Hall was the home of internationally renowned photographer Patrick Lichfield, the fifth Earl of Lichfield who died in 2005.
An exhibition of his photographic work — entitled Fame, Fashion & Fast Cars – depicting the high life of the 1960s and 1970s is on show at the hall until October 29.
The exhibition features eight images that have never been on display before and includes photographs of icons such as Joanna Lumley, Dustin Hoffman, Dirk Bogarde, Graham Hill and Dame Barbara Cartland.
[Based on a report by The Daily Telegraph.]