Saturday, 29 December 2012

the Medusa Oak: Icon of Medieval Sherwood Forest

Picture: Medusa Oak in Birklands Wood, Sherwood Forest national Nature Reserve.



Named 'Medusa' by the Rangers at the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve... 

This beautiful ancient oak has survived an attempt to fell her in the not too distant past- and has sprung back to life with serpent-like branches reclaiming her former crown. She sits proud; shrouded in a skirt of moss and lichen surrounded by young oak saplings and slender Silver Birch...

Due north of the Major Oak, Medusa sits at the norteast boundary of Birklands wood (A crown wood in the heart of Medieval Sherwood Forest). A number of Medieval perambulations of the wood mention a boundary 'mere point' or marker known as 'Musmere' ( the mossy boundary mark)... one perambulation goes further and mentions 'A bound called Musmere Oake'. This location is at the northeast of Birklands wood... 

Could this moss and lichen covered oak tree with its reborn crown of serpents be the Musmere Oak of Medieval tradition?

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