places : clipsham yew tree avenue
From the Forestry
Commission website ...
" The Yew Tree Avenue is a unique collection
of 150 clipped yew trees, most over 200 years old. The Avenue was
once the carriage drive to Clipsham Hall, the centre of the Clipsham
Estate. The topiary was begun in 1870 by Amos Alexander, the estate's
Head Forester who lived in the gate lodge at the foot of the avenue.
The clipping is carried on each autumn by the Forestry Commission's
local craftsmen. A small car park gives year round access to the Yew
Tree Avenue. "
From the Information Board at the Avenue ...
" This unique Avenue formed part of the carriage
drive to Clipsham Hall, which you can still see at the far end of
the Avenue. It is lined with nearly 150 clipped yew trees estimated
to be over 200 years old.
The trimming of the yew trees was begun by the Clipsham Estate Head
Forester, Amos Alexander in 1870. Amos lived in the gate-house and,
as a hobby, began to create figures by clipping the yew trees which
grew outside his house. The Squire was impressed and instructed Amos
to cut figures on all the trees.
The clipping was continued by Amos son, Charles, and then by a Mr
Beecham who lived in the local village. World War II restricted time
spent on the trees and they fell into disrepair.
In 1955 the Forestry Commission took over the Avenue and began restoring
the clipped yews. In the mid 1960's Frank Cornell showed great interest
and aptitude in topiary and took charge of the Avenue for the Commission.
He maintained the designs and created new shapes of his own. Forest
Entreprise today continues the committment to maintaining the Avenue.
The Avenue is clipped around September each year by the Forest Entreprise
workforce making this the best time to see the designs at their finest.
Yew Tree Avenue is located about 1 mile east of Clipsham on the left-hand-side
of the road to Little Bytham. There is a free car park available next
to the Avenue itself.
For further information ...
Tel: 01780 444394
If you know anything about the Avenue or even worked there we would
be pleased to hear from you. Why not ... Contact
Into topiary ? Then check out the following website ...