The church of St Mary Magdalene West Tisted is hidden away and approaching it you feel as if you are shutting the door on several centuries behind you.
The church alone is a reminder of lives lived a thousand years ago but in the church yard stands the living reminder of that time, the yew tree standing alongside the church. Armed only with a piece of string and a willing helper, the girth measured a minimum 7m.
Not being an expert on yew tree aging, except to presume the greater the girth the older the tree, since the tree cells need to divide to survive, it seems fair to adopt the John White formula: Age = girth² ÷ 300cm. Since we are only trying to guess at an age let’s apply the formula; 700 x 700 / 300 = 1633 years Well that seems very old but allowing for large errors surely gives a tree at least a thousand years old. The church has Saxon features and so this ancient place, comprised of tree and church is very special in our Hampshire history.