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Historic Churchyard Yews

Historic Churchyard Yews  by Toby Hindson, was commissioned for the Historic Churches magazine, an annual publication that considers the conservation and repair of Ecclesiastical buildings. On this occasion there is recognition that churchyards too are historic, with many containing one or more yew trees that might be coeval with the building.       

"Many of the yews that exist in our churchyards are widely held to pre-date the Christian consecration of the church site. This exaggeration has its roots in Victorian guidebooks and wishful local histories. Such yews do exist in British churchyards, but investigations by the Ancient Yew Group (AYG) show that while the myths surrounding them are many, pre- Christian yews themselves are relatively few."  

Hindson develops this theme on the first page. The article's other headings are:

The Ancient Yew Group Yew lists
Is your yew ancient?
Ageing and regeneration
Vandalism
Ivy
Errors of the past
The Totteridge Yew