Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Head To Head
Log In
The Modern Antiquarian Forum »
Alton Priors »
Circles under churches
Log In to post a reply

272 messages
Topic View: Flat | Threaded
10943 posts

Re: Circles under churches
May 12, 2005, 09:28
>> There are surviving long bows - even one from the Neolithic ( Handbook of British Archaeology - L and R Adkins)

None of which are yew

>> Confusion is probably arising from the term "English Yew" - there is no such thing.
Granted, but it's easier to say 'British yew' to indicate the form commonly encountered in GB. Different species dominate Europe and Ireland for instance and I can't be arsed to use the Latin name for each one each time.

>> Leaving aside the Irish Yew which is a female form of the common yew, but with a more erect growth described
>> as "bland and fastigate".. Far too young to be used for any kind of longbow except modern repros.

I never said the 'Irish Yew' was used for bows - I just mentioned the difference between the form here and that usually found in GB. The majority of yew staves were imported from Germany, I believe. Oldest yew in Ireland is said to be around 800 years old and was presumably nurtured by the Norman monks.

However, it's very hard to use trees as any form of evidence in Ireland. This is because during the Potato Famine something like 98% of trees and hedge rows in Ireland were cut down. The bulk of the ones that survived were in the Demesnes (grounds of stately homes), where they used to employ people just to protect the trees in their arboretums (sp?), kinda like tree wardens instead of game wardens.

The amount of trees you had was a bit of a status symbol amongst the aristos in the 1850s.
Topic Outline:

The Modern Antiquarian Forum Index