Amazing Named Trees

Sherwood Forest’s most ancient and characterful trees have, over the years, garnered names and nicknames.

The Major Oak

The mighty Major Oak has been known by several names over the 8 centuries or more of its existence.  It was once called The Queen Oak and also The Cockpen Tree – perhaps because its hollow trunk was once used for the cruel sport of cockfighting.   Its modern name came not from its great size, but because it was noted by local antiquarian Major Hayman Rooke who compiled one of the great books on Sherwood Forest’s trees in 1789.

The majestic tree now stands within Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve and can easily be visited by taking the short signposted walk from Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre, which is run by the RSPB.

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Parliament Oak awaits you!

The Parliament Oak

The Parliament Oak  is less well known than the Major Oak, yet at around 1200 years old, it is possibly the oldest tree in Sherwood Forest.  It was once over 25 feet in diameter (recorded in the Dukery Records) but decay and damage took their toll.    

It stands a mile and half from King John’s Palace at Kings Clipstone – formerly a grand hunting lodge used by at least eight medieval kings of England whilst visiting the Royal Forest.  The oak was probably a boundary marker for the adjoining Royal Deer Park of Clipstone. 

It’s said that ‘Bad’ King John, whilst out hunting here in 1212, was informed that a revolt had broken out in Wales and hastily convened a parliament under its branches, 

The Parliament Oak was for a many years in a sadly neglected state, with fly tipping, a ramshackle fence and damage to the surrounding area.

The Sherwood Forest Trust have cared for the veteran tree since 2006.  Without it this ancient oak – witness to a thousand years of Forest history- may have slid into obscurity and decay.

Visit the Parliament Oak and stand in the footsteps of King John as you marvel at the longevity of Sherwood Forest’s ancient oaks.  

Parliament Oak by Major Hayman Rooke

There are two roadside parking spaces, plus an interpretation board with a map and much more information. The location is also the start/end of the Clipstone Park Trail that will take you to the heart of Royal Sherwood Forest, King John’s Palace in Kings Clipstone.

Sherwood Forest contains many other character trees, but sadly some famous forest giants have been lost or destroyed over the years.   Read an article about them on the Edwinstowe Historical Society’s website.

Map of  The Named Trees of Sherwood Forest

Visit the ancient named trees of Sherwood and the site of famous forest veterans now lost to old age and the ravages of up to a thousand years of life.

Help The Ancients!

The Sherwood Forest Trust helps protect these veterans.  Very old trees have a specially rich biodiversity, which takes hundreds of years to develop.  Each one is a mini nature reserve in its own right, and part of the Forest’s unique history and legend.

Help us protect the legendary character trees of Sherwood Forest, and create the next generation of forest veterans.  DONATE today.





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