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Whipsnade Tree Cathedral

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A collection of trees and hedges planted in the design of a full size medieval cathedral. Whipsnade Tree Cathedral is a 9.5 acre (38,000 m²) garden near the town of Dunstable in Bedfordshire, England. It is planted in the approximate form of a cathedral, with grass avenues for nave, chancel, transepts, chapels and cloisters and "walls" of different species of trees.The Tree Cathedral was planted by a Mr EK Blyth as an act of "Faith, hope and reconciliation" in response to his memories of World War I. As a cadet at Sandhurst in 1916 Blyth had made two close friends called Arthur Bailey and John Bennett who were both dead within eighteen months. In 1930 he paid a visit to Liverpool Cathedral, which was then under construction. Blyth wrote "As we drove south through the Cotswold hills on our way home… I saw the evening sun light up a coppice of trees on the side of a hill. It occurred to me then that here was something more beautiful still and the idea formed of building a cathedral with trees." Work began in 1932 and continued in stages. The site became overgrown during World War II, but development recommenced after the end of the war. The first religious service at the site was held in 1953, and services continue to this day.In 1960 the Tree Cathedral was accepted as a gift by the National Trust. The independent Whipsnade Tree Cathedral Fund is responsible for the religious use of the site. Services have been conducted by many different denominations.[ wikipedia, Picture taken by Tony Jones on 10th September 2005]

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