Plant-Lore

Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Coin trees

1. 14 July 2013. Visited Lud’s Church a deep, fern-lined chasm, on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border, near Flash. In the gully was a fallen, dead, small tree – possibly a rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), with coins inserted in its trunk. Most of the coins were of little value, but there was at least one 50p piece. I tried to insert a coin but found it impossible; the wood was too hard. A few of the coins were bent suggesting that they had been hammered in, but most of them showed no sign of such force being used. Perhaps the wood was softer when the tree was alive.
Lud’s Church is, inevitably, claimed to be a place of worship in pre-Christian times, and to have been later used by nonconformists.

Image: ‘Wish tree coins, Aira Force, Ullswater, Cumbria, August 2011’; Rosser 1954; Wiki Commons.

Note from Jacqueline Attrill, June 2018:  The tree is still there [in Lud’s Church] at the muddy entrance, it’s on its side in the ground as you enter the first section.