Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Noteworthy oak trees -10

Card showing the Major Oak, in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, sent from Nottingham to an address in London in July 1997.

Probably the best known and  most photographed tree in England, the Major Oak gets its name  from Major Hayman Rooke who lived nearby in the early 1800s.  ‘Its original name was the Cockpen tree, so called because game cocks were kept in this part of the forest, and the hollow tree was used as a shelter and roosting spot’ [Andrew Morton, Tree Heritage of Britain and Ireland, 1998, p.126].

The card below, posted in Midhurst, West Sussex, to an address in Midhurst on 8 May 1908, is captioned ‘The Major Oak’, but seems to bear little resemblance to the tree shown above.

Updated 31 March 2024.

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