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ARC Home > Projects > Sacred land :
Sacred arts | The Ashbrittle Yew | Our Lady of the Crag | Buddhist Garden of Contemplation

The Ashbrittle Yew

The 3,000 year-old Ashbrittle Yew grows in Ashbrittle churchyard

The Somerset village of Ashbrittle has a 3,000 year-old Yew tree that grows on a mound in the churchyard. For the millennium year a series of solar lamps, carved from local stone by local artist Evelyn Body, were installed in the village, combining traditional sacred forms with unfolding buds to symbolise the theme of past and future in the millennium year.

They were designed to light villagers to the church and to the village hall on long winter nights. A specially commissioned Oratorio entitled ‘Lobhair’, the ancient name for the Yew, composed by William Lovelady, was performed on 21 October 2000 to a packed village church. It wove verses by the community into a haunting evocation of the life the ancient Yew:

Lobhair: The Yew

Blown on the wind of calm and peace,
An ancient voice that never ceased.
The force of life just echoes on,
That ancient voice of nature’s song.
God gave Lobhair, we shall rejoice.
God gave Lobhair, we shall rejoice.
That ancient voice of nature’s song.
The roots grow deep and touch our souls.
They grow so deep and touch our souls.
So very deep…


Link to the Ancient Yew projectfor details about the Ashbrittle yew.

Link to the herefor a story about the ancient Beltingham yew in Northumberland.

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