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The Belfry Tree
A lone ash, with hundreds of arms and a cavernous trunk, stands upon its pedestal in the western part of the graveyard, is known as the belfry tree. Long ago, this cemetery was the graveyard of a church and the heavy iron mass bell was hung from the ash and rung to call the villagers to service. Time eventually wore away at the church, and it no longer stands, but the belfry tree grew on, up around the bell, consuming it. Partially felled at one stage having its top cut off, the tree nearly died, it’s core cracking and rotting away, but the outer layer of the belfry tree, where trees grow and deposit new rings each year, stood fast. The tree resprouted with the tangle of branches that make up it’s canopy today and the hollow trunk remains open. If you stand on the ground and peer up inside, you may just see fragments of what used to be a bell…
Fun fact: The oldest trees in the world are the the Great Basin bristlecone pines (Pinus Longaeva) in California and Nevada, some of which are over 5,000 years old.
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