Shropshire Woodland That Hid Charles II to be Restored
New trees will be planted in the grounds of Boscobel House, propagated from the DNA of the Royal Oak linked to Charles II.
The woodland that once surrounded the Royal Oak – Charles II’s famous hiding place – is being replanted.
The Royal Oak has cut a solitary figure in the field behind Boscobel House in Shropshire for more than 200 years. But now, thanks to a major reinterpretation project at the site, this lost oak pasture is being restored.
Boscobel House and its Royal Oak tree became famous as a hiding place for King Charles II after defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
The oak you see today is a descendant of the tree where Charles hid. Beside it is a replacement grown from an acorn of the oak, which was planted by the Prince of Wales in 2001, on the 350th anniversary of Charles’s visit.
English Heritage’s Gardens Supervisor at Boscobel House, Andrew Degg, yesterday said:
“We want to help people who come to Boscobel to imagine how it was that Charles managed to evade capture by hiding in a tree.
“It’s hard to picture it now as the Royal Oak is so exposed, but during the Civil War the whole field would have been populated by large oak trees.”
32 young saplings are being planted in the Royal Oak field as the gardeners at Boscobel House gradually recreate the oak pasture as it was in the 17th Century.
Working with a master propagator, Nick Dunn of Frank P Matthews Nursery, English Heritage have also propagated a further 10 trees from Royal Oak DNA using both acorns and graft wood.
This procedure was carried out by collecting young, healthy shoots from the crown of the oak and grafting these on to healthy oak rootstocks.
These new trees will need to be cared for by Nick Dunn for two years before they are ready to plant.
While Boscobel House is most famous for being one of the hiding places of King Charles II after the Battle of Worcester defeat, it was also a prosperous Victorian Farm.
As part of this project, English Heritage plans to introduce rare breed animals like Tamworth pigs, Shropshire and Ryeland sheep and a range of poultry. This will give a sense of what the farm looked (smelled and sounded) like in its heyday.
Boscobel is currently closed until the summer but please visit our webpage to plan your trip later in the year.
Find out more about Charles II and the Royal Oak.
Latest News from
Winter Solstice Sunrise to be Live Streamed From Stonehenge05/11/2020 16:33:00
Due to the pandemic, English Heritage cannot host the usual celebrations at the prehistoric stones.
Blue Plaque For Artist Barbara Hepworth30/10/2020 12:02:00
Sculptors Barbara Hepworth and John Skeaping honoured at their London home and studio, 24 St Ann's Terrace in St John's Wood.
New Portrait of Queen Victoria’s African Goddaughter Goes on Display at Osborne07/10/2020 12:25:00
English Heritage commissions portraits of black figures associated with its historic sites to tell previously overlooked stories.
New Poems Tell The Untold Stories of English Heritage01/10/2020 16:08:00
Six poets have been commissioned by English Heritage for a new digital anthology, including its Poet in Residence who leads a poetry programme to launch Black History Month
London's Blue Plaques, Statues And Black Lives Matter17/06/2020 13:10:00
English Heritage looks after 48 statues and monuments in London, including the Cenotaph and Marble Arch.
Unsung Heroes of Dunkirk Evacuation Revealed on 80th Anniversary26/05/2020 15:48:00
Dunkirk 1940: The Making of the Miracle – English Heritage's online event tells the story of the evacuation day-by-day.
Working From Home: English Heritage Style06/04/2020 15:48:00
As sites remain closed to the public, English Heritage staff are taking some weird and wonderful work home with them.
Archaeologists to Excavate Roman Secrets10/03/2020 11:43:00
An archaeological dig will take place at Richborough Roman Fort to reveal more about its ancient amphitheatre.