An Avenue of Topiary Trees. Clipsham UK

shirlie williams
Submitted by shirlie williams October 19th, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner

Yew tree trimming was started by Amos Alexander in 1870 whilst living at the gatehouse. The Forestry commission took over the avenue in 1955 and has continued with the tradition. Its a really quirky place ,usually empty. Some trees have animals cut into them, dates celebrating Royal occasions….the 50 one I am attempting to hug is not for my birthday unfortunately..and my dad Bernard is taking a rest in one of the Yew Trees as it has a bench built into it.

3 Responses to “An Avenue of Topiary Trees. Clipsham UK”

  1. Allee Willis

    Allee Willis

    I LOVE THIS! So great that the Forestry Commission took this over from someone who was crazy and wonderful enough to keep the trees trimmed and they’re still going at it.

    Is this a public park that anyone can walk through or is it literally just a beautifully maintained street?

    The thought of a bench carved into a bush is so excellent.

    What happens to all this stuff in the winter?

    Love the shot of you hugging the foliage. EXCELLENT documentation. Thanx, Shirlie!

  2. shirlie williams

    shirlie williams

    Allee, so glad you liked it… The avenue leads up to a very large country house called Clipsham Hall but a very large gate at the end of the avenue prevents you going into the private estate,otherwise you are free to wander as you wish,its a public area just off the roadside down a small country lane. Its very popular with dog walkers.

    In the winter its still open to the public and when it snows it looks glorious.

    Here is a little more info that I have found.

    The clipping was continued by Amos’s son Charles and then by a local villager but the avenue became overgrown during World War Two but was restored after the Forestry Commission took over the site in 1955, training staff in the skills of topiary to continue the tradition. New shapes were added, the current ones maintained, and the half-mile long avenue now contains almost 150 clipped yews, some of which are 200 years old.

    The shapes commemorate historical events or people including an anchor, a windmill, the three bears, a deer, elephant and even a chair where visitors can sit and take a rest. One tree commemorates the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, another the first moon landing by the American astronaut Neil Armstrong, while others honour the present owner of Clipsham Hall, Sir David Davenport-Handley, the famous Spitfire from the Battle of Britain, and Amos Alexander himself whose artistry and imagination were responsible for the avenue that visitors enjoy today.

    The trees are clipped in September each year and new designs are added regularly.