“Random encounters with the unusual” is a repository for the oddities that me and Mrs J have encountered on our travels, which we find interesting or amusing in some way. Have a look, maybe you will find something interesting or amusing herein.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Major Oak and Simulacrum

The tree pictured below is the “Major Oak”, which is a large and ancient English Oak tree that can be found in Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire. According to Robin Hood lore, the oak was a place of shelter for Robin Hood and his associates. The tree is estimated to be around 800 to 1000 years old, have a mass of 23 tons and its trunk is 10 meters in circumference.

Due to the tree’s immense size, its limbs have had to be supported by a system of scaffolding, which was erected during the Victorian era. It is not known how the tree became so huge, but two potential theories include: the tree may in fact be several trees that were fused together when saplings; or that the tree was possibly pollarded (a system of pruning aimed at stimulating continuous new growth of wood), which caused the trunk to grow large and thick.

The Major Oak is one of fifty “Great British Trees”, the rest of which I shall look out for on my travels.

Major Oak. 
Major Oak.
While wandering Sherwood Forest I also came across the below Simulacrum, that reminded me of some form of cartoon character. While probably not good enough for the Fortean Times Simulacra Corner, it certainly caught my eye!

Can you see the face?

Pictures, Nottingham (January 2013).

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1 comment:

  1. As a follow up to the above, my father recently made me aware that another of the fifty “Great British Trees” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_great_British_trees), the Pontfadog Oak toppled over on the 17th April in strong gales (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-22202815).

    The sessile oak tree was reputed to be one of the oldest and largest oaks in the UK. The estimated age of the tree was 1,200 years old and the tree had a girth of 12.9m (supposedly allowing the inside of its hollow trunk to seat around 6 people). During its history the tree become a local landmark and was also believed to be the rallying point for Welsh prince Owain Gwynedd’s army in 1157 before he was victorious over Henry II at the battle of Crogen.

    So if you were going on this trail of the fifty “Great British Trees”, don’t now waste your time going to Pontfadog!