The Ancient Yew: A History of Taxus Baccata [Paperback]

Robert Bevan-Jones (Author)

ISBN: 9781785700781 | Published by: Windgather Press | Year of Publication: 2016 | 3 | Language: English 216p, H246 x W185 (mm)

Also available as an ebook from:
Buy From Amazon Amazon
Buy From Apple Apple
Buy From Barnes and Noble Barnes & Noble
Buy From Kobo Kobo
Buy From Google Google

Oxbow Books will earn a small commission if you buy an ebook after clicking a link here.

The Ancient Yew


The gnarled, immutable yew tree is one of the most evocative sights in the British and Irish language, an evergreen impression of immortality, the tree that provides a living botanical link between our own landscapes and those of the distant past. This book tells the extraordinary story of the yew’s role in the landscape through the millennia, and makes a convincing case for the origins of many of the oldest trees, as markers of the holy places founded by Celtic saints in the early medieval ‘Dark Ages’.

With wonderful photographic portraits of ancient yews and a gazetteer (with locations) of the oldest yew trees in Britain, the book brings together for the first time all the evidence about the dating, history, archaeology and cultural connections of the yew. Robert Bevan-Jones discusses its history, biology, the origins of its name, the yew berry and its toxicity, its distribution across Britain, means of dating examples, and their association with folklore, with churchyards, abbeys, springs, pre-Reformation wells and as landscape markers. This third edition has an updated introduction with new photographs and corrections to the main text.

Reviews & Quotes

"The Ancient Yew is the best work ever written that is focussed on British yews. In exploring yew ages Bevan-Jones displays the rare mix of inspired historical intuition, a careful pragmatic scepticism, and a balanced eye for credible data. Most importantly he does not fear to include a valuable thesis in his work."
Toby Hindson
The Ancient Yew Group (30/11/2018)

"This book provides a thoughtprovoking insight into the yew and its contextual importance through the ages. "
Oliver Macfarlane
Chartered Forester (19/05/2017)

"…remains probably the most authoritative account of the yew written so far… continues to occupy a pride of place upon this reader’s bookshelf."
Della Hooke
Medieval Settlement Research Group (16/11/2017)

Product Tags

Use spaces to separate tags. Use single quotes (') for phrases.

Memory usage: real: 24903680, emalloc: 23687792
Code ProfilerTimeCntEmallocRealMem