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This astonishing tree has a current girth of 33 feet 8 inches (10.2 metres) and spreads over no less than a quarter of an acre in the grounds of Kateshill House, Bewdley. What makes the tree really exceptional is the spread of its branches, which have been allowed to grow unchecked. The longest branch which stretches down the slope on which the tree grows, has an elbow which touches the ground 44 feet (13.4 metres) from the tree and reaches to its furthest extent 77 feet (23.5 metres) from the tree.
The house was once park of Tickenhall Manor, the home of Prince Arthur, Prince of Wales, son of Henry VII. One version of the tree's history is that it was planted to commemorate Prince Authur's proxy wedding with Catherine of Aragon (who later married his brother, Henry VIII). Another theory is that the tree was planted in 1567 by Sir Henry Sidney, Lord High Admiral of England, to celebrate the birth of a daughter.
Whilst this sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) has previously lived in relative obscurity, its current owners are now running a bed and breakfast business at Kateshill House, so in future this amazing tree will get the admiration that it deserves.
Bewdley Sweet Chestnut
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