The Great Laund Oak is no More!

27 02 2017

One of our most famous trees, and our oldest in Yorkshire, the great Laund Oak is no more! I didn’t know until I visited today on a walk from Bolton Abbey using the Sunday Dalesbus…

As I approached I could see it looked much reduced in size and, when I arrived, hoping to stand inside it once more as I always do, I found I would never stand inside it again! The old oak has snapped, apparently during a sudden gale in January, and is now lying recumbent and sinking into the very wet ground. Maybe there is hope though as there are buds on some of the branches – I hope it isn’t finally finished – lots of trees continue to grown in recumbent state…

Looking at one of my old photos (2006), I think the writing was on the wall for the tree back then as the horizontal crack just above the base is exactly where it has snapped…

laund-oak-detail

The tree was over 800 years old and is believed to have been named after the Prior of Bolton Abbey from 1286 to 1330 – John of Laund.

It will be much missed by many others as well as myself as it was a popular landmark. I personally see it as yet another sign that I’ve picked the right time to move from Yorkshire to Cumbria – everything is falling apart here.

Here is the photo taken by the Craven Herald newspaper:

oak-tribute

Here are my other 2006 photos of it (I don’t generally carry my camera locally)…

laund-oak-stark
My old friend and shelter

bolton-abbey-the-laund-oak

bolton-abbey-laund-oak

the-laund-oak-green

The rest of the walk was nice however…

bolton-abbey-storiths-lane
Storiths Lane
bolton-abbey-storiths-ln-bracken

bolton-abbey-north-nab
Approaching the old oak

The Strid from above (many a death here)…

bolton-abbey-strid-view

strid-in-winter-zoomed-out

strid-in-winter

Beautiful Strid Woods…

bolton-abbey-strid-woods

Now I’m just waiting for someone to blame Brexit!

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15 responses

3 03 2017
McFadzean

I suppose everything has its day. A great shame, though. There are few things more noble than an ancient tree, especially oaks.
Alen

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5 03 2017
mountaincoward

I love oaks and beech the best of all our trees.

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3 03 2017
Blue Sky Scotland

Shame. Nothing lasts forever but if they protect the stump it may grow back again as long as the fungus underneath can provide enough food for it to regenerate. Amazing symbiosis between the things you can see above the ground and all the equally important other stuff buried beneath a tree of that vintage.

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3 03 2017
mountaincoward

I’m hoping the buds are a good sign – of course, they may have formed before January. I’ll certainly be going back to have a look and will update in the comments on here

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28 02 2017
bowlandclimber

Oh dear! What a shame but I hope the roots hang on to life. I was only in that area a couple of weeks ago, climbing Simon’s Seat, and marveling at the ancient oaks at the start of the Valley of Desolation. We missed seeing The Great Laund Oak though, it seems to be right on the lane.

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28 02 2017
mountaincoward

It’s down the next hill after Waterfall Cottage and back up the next one so a bit further than where you turned off. I love Desolation Valley – have walked there since I was a kid. Simons Seat is good too – did you have a scramble?

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28 02 2017
bowlandclimber

The day was fairly bleak and the rocks slippy so were happy to picnic on the driest boulder.

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28 02 2017
underswansea

800 years old! That is incredible. Too bad it has tipped over. I hope a few buds shoot up. I used to work at a school as a maintenance man. We took an old dead fir tree down in the yard. I counted the rings and it had more than 250. I marked every 25 with a pencil. I talked to the teachers at lunch and said you should bring the children out and mark down when they were born and when they’re teachers were born. Mark down when Canada became a country. When the area was settled. Mark the First and Second World War. Etc. Those teachers and the Principal, looked back at me like I was crazy. They didn’t come out in the afternoon. I occupied myself with other chores. They didn’t come out the next day either. I ended up cutting the tree into blocks. My boss and the principal, shared it, cursed it’s weight, taking it home for firewood.

Wonderful post Carol!

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28 02 2017
mountaincoward

That would have been a pretty interesting project and I bet the kids would have loved it! Shame about the teachers…

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27 02 2017
RyanR

Bloody brexit

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27 02 2017
mountaincoward

LOL! Actually, I think some sulky European came and chopped it down!

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27 02 2017
chrissiedixie

What a shame! As you say though, it might continue to thrive in its current position.
And although it is pleasant walking around there, I’m not a particular fan of The Strid…. somewhat menacing I always feel. 😦

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27 02 2017
mountaincoward

The Strid is a fascinating while horrifying place that’s for sure. We were furious to see once that a guy was jumping it and leaving his dog on the far bank and then trying to get it to jump across. It knew how dangerous it was and so didn’t want to jump but wanted to be back with its master – so upsetting for the dog.

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28 02 2017
chrissiedixie

OMG I feel ill thinking about that. Some people shouldn’t be allowed animals at all.

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28 02 2017
mountaincoward

We had to leave – I think we probably shouted some abuse at the guy before we left – it was me and my Mum and we’re both quite fiery!

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