The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

AN ANCIENT PLANE-TREE. - There is an old historical plane-tree standing in the Temple gardens.  The Thames formerly flowed close to its roots, and it is now pointed out as marking the site of the old river wall, successive embankments having now shut out the river 50 or 60 yards further to the south.   Apart from its interest as a landmark, both GOLDSMITH and JOHNSON are reputed to have spent many an hour in "sweet converse" beneath its shade;  nor is this improbable, as it has evidently been a stately tree in its time.

When the river wall was removed further south, the ground around it was raised to a height of 15 feet, and probably, this hastened its death by depriving its roots of their due amount of aeration.  It has been dead since 1835, and shows little of its former greatness.  The branches are rotten and broken, and in a few years' time, if not better protected than it is, it will be among the things of the past.  A neat label, giving a short account of its history, would be appreciated by visitors to the Temple-gardens, many of whom are, in all probability, quite unaware of its existence or of its historical interest. - The Garden.
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