Chestnut leaf

To everything a Season...

by Dennis Claydon
©2003 - 2012

The passing of two well-loved Chestnut Trees in Lacey Green, Buckinghamshire.

Main Road. Lacey Green

Two horse-chestnut trees formerly graced the entrance to Stocken Farm, in Main Road, Lacey Green.

Entrance to Stocken Farm

The largest and most ancient of these trees was thought to date from the time of the Enclosure of Princes Risborough Parish in 1823.

A much-loved feature of the landscape, the trunk measured eighteen feet in girth at its largest point and fifteen feet at the narrowest point.

Entrance to Stocken Farm

This tree, with "Triumphal arch that spans the road...", and reaching " the sky...', featured in a local poetry competition.

It served as a meeting place and village landmark, providing a never failing source of 'conkers' for generations of village children.

Stocken Farm drive

Sadly, the two trees flanking the drive suffered severe damage during a gale in October 2002, necessitating the felling of both.

Men at work

Ironically, work commenced on cutting down the trees on 5th November 2002. It was phased to cause minimum disruption to passing traffic.


Within hours, centuries of growth had been consumed by the flames, a fire which was to burn for several days.


As darkness fell on the following day, the Owners of Stocken Farm entertained their grandchildren to a firework party around the bonfire.

By coincidence, this echoed a tradition of their Grandfather's, who as a boy, held Guy Fawkes day parties in the same field.

Afterwards, from the road.

The removal of the two trees left an unfamiliar gap in the street scene....

Afterwards, from the drive.

....but more daylight to the houses opposite!

New trees

On a warm spring afternoon in March 2003, the Owners of Stocken Farm, John and Joan West, invited pupils from St John's Combined School in the village, together with their Headmaster, Mr. S. Coleman, to assist in planting two replacement trees. A legacy, it is hoped, for generations yet to come.

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