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29 AUG

Tree of the Year 2019!

The Witches Yew - Tree of the Year 2019

Blarney Castle is delighted to have won Irelands Tree of the Year competition. Our magnificent Yew Tree located above the Witch’s Kitchen was in the running with 4 other trees from around the country.

Our Yew tree won with 42% of the vote, which was a fantastic achievement given the 4 other stunning trees in the running.

Our Yew situated in the Rock Close on the grounds of Blarney Castle Estate, has been estimated by experts to be in excess of 600 years old. A folly, The Witch’s Kitchen, was built by the Jeffreyes family under the already existing yew tree in the 1750s as part of the famous Rock Close gardens.

Legend has it, the area is the home of the Blarney Witch, who first told mortals of the Blarney Stone’s magic powers i.e. the gift of eloquence. The Witch, imprisoned by day in the Witch Stone, is released after nightfall, only to be banished to the witch stone again at dawn. Some early morning visitors have claimed to have seen dying embers of a fire in her kitchen

Head Gardener Adam Whitbourn said:

We are all absolutely delighted that the Witch’s Yew has won the Irish tree of the year. It’s an amazing veteran tree with a fantastic story and that’s what the competition is all about.

Personally, I’m happy to see specimen trees like this getting some recognition, especially in the current climate where such devastation is happening to woodlands around the world.

Trees such as this represent both our past and our future, and it is our duty to look after them.

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