Stalking the Hardy Ash by Peter Coles

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On 29th and 30th May 29, Peter Coles will be leading a walk, in partnership with Andrew Stuck (of Rethinking Cities /  Museum of Walking), to the Hardy Ash – an extraordinary tree in the cemetery adjacent to St Pancras Old Church.

When poet and novelist Thomas Hardy was working as an architect in the 1860s he was responsible for overseeing the excavation of the old cemetery, to make way for the extension of the Midland Railway into the new terminus at St Pancras. The gravestones were stacked around an ash tree in the churchyard and have since fused with its trunk and roots, making it one of the most unusual trees in London, now known as The Hardy Ash or The Hardy Tree. There are some other unusual trees in the churchyard, too.

St Pancras Old Church is a wonderful little Anglican church on the banks of the Fleet River, which is now underground. It is one of the oldest in England, dating back before the Norman Conquest.

The walk is free, but places are limited and must be booked.  The walk coincides with London Tree Week, was commissioned by the Mayor of London. Please see the link for further details and to book a place. Currently there are still places available on 30th.

Peter Coles is a visiting fellow of CUCR, Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Images by Peter Coles.

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