Alphington's Nature

The Manor House Foxglove

An undated record stated that a Foxglove in the garden of Alphington's Manor House appeared to have been made up of 15 separate plants that had interwoven. Its spiralling stem showed the ridges of the separate plants and at the top of the plant 15 separate stems grew all bearing flowers.

The Twisted Oak
Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick

The Twisted Oak

The beautiful Oak tree that stands at the junction of Little John's Cross Hill and Balls Farm Road is reputed to have been planted by Samuel Pitman (1749–1788). There are many strange stories connected with the Oak, one of a suicide, another that the spirit of 'The Major' James Pitman (1779–1848) is confined within the tree and the peculiar twist in the trunk appeared the night that James died.

Trees and Plants in Alphington's Lanes

Dr M. D. Hooper of the Nature Conservancy, Monks Wood, Hunts in about the 1970s put forward the idea that the number of different kinds of trees and shrubs in a hedge could give us an indication of its age, this could be roughly estimated on the basis of one species being added each century. This theory has apparently been supported by the study of old maps and deeds.

Hangmans Lane, now Markhams Lane, was recorded as having the following trees and shrubs: English Elm; a hybrid Wych X Cornish Elm; Beech; a number of large Oaks; a hybrid between a Common and Dormast Oak; Ash; Hazel; Maple; Hawthorn; Blackthorn; Holly; Spindle; Grey Sallow; Cherry Laural; Gooseberry; Dog Roses; Field Rose; Ivy; Honeysuckle and Brambles.

Clapperbrook Lane recorded the following: English Elm; Wych Elm; Hazel; Sycamore; Maple; Oak; Hawthorn; Blackthorn; Dog Rose; Field Rose; Elder; Privet and two larch trees.

Mill Lane recorded: Oak; English Elm; Hazel; Holly; Elder; Hawthorn; Blackthorn; Field Rose, Brambles; Ivy; Honeysuckle; Traveller's Joy; Great Horsetail and about 40 other species of flowering plants. A little spring allowed marsh plants to grow such as Water Figwort, Marsh Thistle, Meadow-Sweet and Watercress which unfortunately was killed off in a drought.



Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick