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The Cowthorpe Oak Yorkshire

The Cowthorpe Oak Yorkshire

Engraver: Laporli, I.

Medium: Aquatint

Date: 1806

Shelfmark: Ktop XLV

Item number: 41-2.

Genre: Topographical Print

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This oak in Yorkshire, attracted many visitors on account of its age, it girth and its history. The printed text explains more about its fame. In addition Langdale's Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire (1822) records: 'Cowthorpe is remarkable on account of an enormous Tree, called the Cowthorpe Oak; the circumference of which, close by the ground, is 60 feet, and its principal limb (which is propped) extends 48 feet from the bole. This venerable oak is decaying fast, the trunk and several of the branches appearing to be completely rotten, except the bark; tradition speaks of its being in decay for many generations. The intermixture of foliage amongst the dead branches, show how sternly this giant struggles for life, and how reluctantly it surrenders to all conquering time. "Compared with this," says Dr. Hunter, in Evelyn's Silva, "all other trees are children of the Forest." The leading branch fell, by a storm, in the year 1718; which, being measured with accuracy, was found to contain five tons and two feet of wood. Before this accidental mutilation, its branches are said to have extended their shade over half an acre of ground; thus constituting, in a single tree, almost a wood itself'.

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