Queen of the Forest

by Jem Croucher


The Knightwood Oak stands tall and proud
as it has for centuries now
Six hundred years it has been here
withstanding time somehow

And as I stood beside its girth
and looked up at its height
I heard the ages echo there
Faced with this wondrous sight

My words fortuitous is seems
as Ordnance Survey did invest
when back in eighteen seventy
named it as ‘Queen of the Forest’

An aged oak, it stands there still
protected by the Queen
Recalling previous monarchs that
through its lifetime it has seen

And in honour of its heritage
new saplings grow around
Named there after royalty
in the New Forest ground

The ‘Knightwood Oak’ is in the ‘Knightwood Inclosure’ just off the A35 out of Lyndhurst in the New Forest. Previously known as ‘The Queen of the Forest’, this massive oak is thought to be over 600 years old. The New Forest was originally set aside as hunting ground by William the Conqueror more than 900 years ago. It was made a National Park in the UK in 2005. 

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