More Ancient Mulberry Trees
In Preachers’ Court
The tree at the back of this magnificent array of foliage is one of the pair of ancient black Mulberries that sit on either side of the lawn at Charterhouse. Yet even before I reached this spectacular destination, I had photographed a distinguished specimen growing by the wall in a shady corner of Bunhill Fields.
I set out from Spitalfields heading west this week for an afternoon’s walk to add more ancient Mulberries to my collection that began in April when I photographed the oldest Mulberry in the East End in the grounds of the former London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green, has included a trip to Syon to pay homage to the oldest Mulberry in Britain as well as a foray across the river to record the venerable specimens in South London.
Hilary Haydon, one of the brothers, greeted me at the gatehouse at three o’clock and led me through to Preachers’ Court where two huge Mulberries flourish enshrined among the luxuriant and imaginative planting that is characteristic of the gardens at Charterhouse, which are looking their very best this week.
Sensibly, Hilary settled down with a book on a bench in the sun and left me to dance around the trees with my camera to discover the best angles and catch the ideal light as the June clouds scudded overhead. The surrounding buildings of Preachers’ Court date from 1531 and there is no reason to suggest the gnarled Mulberries, twisted over with age and propped up by supports, may not be of similar age.
Hilary & I shook hands at the gatehouse upon my departure, where a couple of Mulberries grow inside the wall and reach up over the boundary, only to have their limbs lopped off like Smithfield martyrs. From there, I walked down through the meat market and across Hatton Garden towards Fleet St and Middle Temple where a couple of Mulberries face each other at skewed angles across the pond in the shade of Fountain Court.
Then I strolled off to search further, now that my instinct for seeking Mulberries is attuned, and – sure enough – I discovered another tree growing in the private garden of King’s Bench Walk, where I peered through the elegant railings to capture an image of this alluring specimen supported by iron poles and sequestered beyond reach.
Old Mulberry in Bunhill Fields Cemetery
Mulberry at Charterhouse
Trunk of the oldest Mulberry at Charterhouse
Another Mulberry at Charterhouse
Mulberries growing over the wall at Charterhouse
Pair of Mulberries in Fountain Court, Middle Temple
Mulberry with Middle Temple Hall in the background
Secret Mulberry in the private garden at King’s Bench Walk
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