The trees of Peper Harow….in 1841

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Extract from ‘A History of Surrey’ by W. Brayley 1841

Among other remarkable trees in the pleasure grounds are some noble specimens of the Cedar of Lebanon. One of these, of magnificent growth which, when measured in the year 1781, was 9 ft 6 inches in girth, is now (1841) 15 ft; and it then spreads into numerous huge branches the horizontal extent of which is nearly 100 ft; some of the branch stems are 7 ft in circumference.

The four which are the oldest of the cedars in Peper Harow were planted in 1735 or 1736, as appears by a manuscript memorandum accidentally preserved. The plants were brought from London in pots inside the carriage by a former Lady Clarendon, when each was about 2 ft high.

Being planted on the bank which overlooks the river, on the top of a steep ascent, they were much exposed to the sun and wind; and in consequence their perpendicular growth was much impeded.

Notes:

  1. Girth in 1965: 24 feet 5 inches
  2. Clarendon may have been a mistake for Midleton

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About 1960 a Mr Gardner of Winchester came from Winchester especially to look at some of the trees. He wrote:

“With reference to my visit recently when I measured a number of trees in the grounds of Peper Harow Park, I enclose a list of the measurements which I said I would send you, together with some notes about the trees from a book of 1841. The Lebanon Cedar of 24 feet 5 inches girth is one of the finest I have ever seen and I shall look forward to re-measuring it every now and again to see how it is growing”

In 2000 a further survey was done by Owen Johnson from The Tree Register, and his comprehensive report, together with his tree list, is here