Saturday, 4 May 2013

The seven oak trees - what's the story

As a resident of sevenoaks, I often get asked or rather told about the seven oaks in the town.

"it's one oak now isn't it" Many people say.

This refers to sevenoaks placed around the cricket ground at the vine.

This article covers all the information I have after speaking with locals and research on the web. Here's the stories.

Fact or Fiction?

The original church was built using 7 oak trees cut down to make the roof
This is my favourite story - sevenoaks church was built using the timber from seven oak trees cut down. I used to say this one, however I no longer think its true.

The name Sevenoaks or Saxon word Seouenaca was given to a hospice in 800 AD
This from wiki kent - Sevenoaks originally started life as a hospice and place of safety for pilgrims travelling along the two main highways from London and Dartford which merged in this area and continued south across the weald to the coast. Its name comes from the Saxon word Seouenaca, which means seven oak trees and was given to the shelter for the travellers in 800AD. This building became a church in 1114AD and was dedicated to St Nicholas.
This story I like because it also covers why people from sevenoaks are called sennockians.

but, where were the 7 oaks and where are the 7 oaks now.

I believe the original seven oaks lined the old a21 to tonbridge which passes along the side of knole park.
They had to be cut down to make way for road widening in the 1800s. I read this story at sevenoaks library / museum. I think!

Then the second "7 oaks" were planted around the vine. These were the subject of the 1 oak story.

The above link contains a picture showing trees blow down in the storms of 1987.

Then there were more oaks planted - nine I believe. Vandals then tore up many of them.

Who knows how many oaks there are around the vine now?

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