The Bowthorpe Oak
This ancient oak tree in Lincolnshire has such an impressive girth, people have been hosting parties within the hollow trunk for centuries. It could well have been standing in the days of Robin Hood.
Bowthorpe Oak in Manthorpe near Bourne, Lincolnshire, is perhaps England's oldest oak tree, and one of the oldest in Europe, with an estimated age of 800 to 1,000 years. The tree has a circumference of 12.30 metres (40 feet 4 inches).
The tree can be found on Bowthorpe Park Farm and visitors are welcome throughout the year.
The first references to the tree date back to the 1760s and describe the tree’s hollow trunk being smoothed out by the then Squire of Bowthorpe, who created a room inside the oak in which he could entertain as many as 20 guests at a sit-down dinner.
The Bowthorpe Oak was selected as one of 50 Great British Trees by The Tree Council in 2002.
Today, the hollow tree serves a variety of purposes. Livestock sometimes take shelter in its ancient interior, and humans are known to throw the occasional party within the walls of the gnarled old trunk. Of course, nature lovers, and tree aficionados also come to Bowthorpe Farm to admire this ancient survivor from the days of Robin Hood.
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