This ancient tree was a sessile Oak, at least 500 years old and a site of pilgrimage. Thousands came to see it and pay it homage. It branches were laden with offerings of all kinds. It was sacred to many people of many faiths. It has featured a number of times and been shared widely in our public UK Facebook group. Here are some images and a bit more information about this special tree.
White Leaved Oak, A Sacred Oak
Whiteleaved Oak is a hamlet in Herefordshire. It sits in a valley at the southern end of the Malvern Hills between Raggedstone Hill and Chase End Hill where the counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire meet. It is on Raggedstone Hill that the ancient sacred Oak was to be found.
The tree was beloved of druids and those who love earth mysteries.
In The Ley Hunter's Companion (1979) Paul Devereux said a 10-mile alignment he called the "Malvern Ley" passed through Whiteleaved Oak.
In 1973 in his book City of Revelation British author John Michell suggested that Whiteleaved Oak is the centre of a circular alignment he called the “Circle of Perpetual Choirs”. He put the tree as part of a triangle being equidistant from Glastonbury and Stonehenge.
'The Interconnectedness of All Things – From the Perpetual Choirs of Britain to the present day' was written by John Gibson-Forty,a dowser who followed each of the 10 ley lines from their centre at Whiteleaved Oak that form the decagon. In his book he talks about the Perpetual Choirs as being three choirs, probably comprised of early monks, saints or Druids, who maintained ceaseless chanting day and night, for the ongoing enchantment and healing of Britain. Their area of influence dowsed as being the ten-sided Decagon centred on Whiteleaved Oak Hamlet and Ragged Stone Hill in the Malvern Hills.
Today people are singing the lines worldwide in the hope of bringing back some enchantment and healing to the world. It really doesn't matter whether you believe in ley lines or earth healing, the simple fact is these things are bringing the plight of the earth to peoples attention and prompting many to make their own attempts to help stop and heal the damage being inflicted.
Inspired White Leaved Oak Stories
In Tales From Whiteleaved Oak, Brian Haynes has written about local folklore, gossip and history which he has combined with developments in climate change.
The trunk and many branches of the tree became hollowed with age, and you could inside its' trunk and stand on the rock upon which it grew. The inside of the tree was also lined with trinkets, gemstones and jewels left as gifts for the Oak King. At the solstices it was festooned with with flowers and decked with brightly coloured ribbons, feathers, pentagrams and other trinkets and crafts. At one time there was even a makeshift ‘visitors book’ left in a sheltered hollow in the trees’ trunk filled with signatures, poems and blessings. Nearby was a well used hearth where fires were burnt late into the night kept vigil over by various Druids, Witches and other tree lovers.
Tragedy and Teaching
Sadly on the 9th July 2020, the remains of the sacred 500 year old 'White Leaved oak tree' were destroyed by fire from lanterns that had been hung in its branches. Once again reminding us humans that we should leave no trace when we walk out in nature. Lanterns, incense, candles and nitelites must never ever be left unattended.
It will be a surprise to many that the great Sessile Oak is not the tree for whom the hamlet is named. There was in fact a genuine Whiteleaved oak, an extremely rare variegated form that used to grow there. Find out more in part 2 of 'The Sacred Whiteleaved Oak'.
However the spirit of the sacred oak will rise once again! Check out the AST tree planting shop where we have many ways for you to plant an oak in memory of this remarkable tree. AST funds the planting of Oaks and broadleaved trees in the UK.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about this sacred tree and I will see you in part 2 here.