SP9512 : The ancient horse chestnut avenue, Aldbury

taken 10 years ago, near to Aldbury, Hertfordshire, Great Britain

The ancient horse chestnut avenue, Aldbury
The ancient horse chestnut avenue, Aldbury
These trees are among the healthiest survivors in an avenue of horse chestnut trees that runs between Northfield Road and an old bridleway. At first sight the track they line goes nowhere and the reason for what must have been a very impressive avenue is unclear. However a study of old maps puts the track in context. Dury and Andrew's map of Hertfordshire of 1766 LinkExternal link shows a complex pattern of lanes in the area, with one running from Pendley over Aldbury Nowers towards either Stocks or one of the farms just over the county boundary in Buckinghamshire. Between Pendley and the current avenue the track is shown as the boundary between Aldbury and Tring parishes, and it may be that further to the north east it was once part of the county boundary, passing through a well worn gap over Grims Ditch. Large scale ordnance survey maps of the 1880s show this part of the track as being an avenue while the 1834 1 Ordnance Survey also marks the avenue and shows that the track continued but had after a few hundred yards been diverted because of the canal (opened 1799). When the railway was built (opened 1837) a bridge was built which is still there LinkExternal link but the track seems to have fallen into disuse and is no longer a right of way.
As horse chestnut trees can live up to 350 years, and the avenue was important enough to be recorded as such on maps in 1834 the trees could be well over 200 years old.
See also SP9512 : The Horse Chestnut Trees in the Avenue in May.
The Avenue can be seen in SP9412 : A simple rural view which reveals 4000 years of history.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Chris Reynolds and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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SP9512, 114 images   (more nearby )
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Monday, 16 March, 2009   (more nearby)
Thursday, 19 March, 2009
Trees > Trees   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 951 129 [100m precision]
WGS84: 51:48.4104N 0:37.3239W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 950 128
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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