NZ1365 : Walled-up tree, Tyne riverside

taken 2 months ago, near to Wylam, Northumberland, Great Britain

Walled-up tree, Tyne riverside
Walled-up tree, Tyne riverside, taken 2 months ago
I have often wondered about this masonry wall built into the lower trunk of a mature beech tree but never before examined it closely. Is it a walled-up tree or a tree'd-up wall? There is no sign of any extension of an old wall in this area of woodland between the Wylam Waggonway and the River Tyne which makes the latter unlikely. The land was once part of Close House Estate and close to a riverside fairway of a former Newcastle University golf course NZ1365 : Trees and grassland along Tyne riverside.

The north side of the trunk has two large fissures at the base and shows that it is hollow. Presumably walling up of the southern fissure was done as a protective measure to prevent further damage and loss of an important landscape tree.

Quite when it was done, and how old the tree is, I am unsure - it is of some girth and appears to be part of a line of mature trees between the waggonway and the river. These would have been prominent parts of the landscape view south from Close House mansion (ha-ha walls were used as boundaries below the house) and probably planted as such. The trees are now lost among others in a woodland area just south of the also well-wooded Wylam Waggonway. Could this tree have been there when Puffing Billy first ran on the railway line in 1813?

Although the estate is much older, Close House mansion was built in 1779, and the estate covered an area of 606 acres of land and 11 acres of water.
LinkExternal link
Close House :: NZ1265
Close House was built in 1779 for the private use of the Bewicke family on the site of an earlier monastic house. The mansion and estate were sold in 1953 and bought for the sum of 13,190 by James Rutherford and Sons who sold it on to Kings College, later the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, in 1960 who had it refurbished in 1994 for 1,000,000.

The University sold the whole Estate to local business man Graham Wylie in 2004 and it reopened as a hotel and golf venue in 2005. LinkExternal link

In March 2014 it was reported that former computing millionaire, Graham Wylie, announced plans to convert Close House Hotel into a private home for his family. He is said to have invested an estimated 50m since buying it from Newcastle University 10 years ago. LinkExternal link
LinkExternal link

There is a brief history here LinkExternal link
Description of house: LinkExternal link
Descriptions of gardens: LinkExternal link
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Andrew Curtis and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
year taken
2017
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NZ1365, 93 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
  (find more nearby)
Image Type ?
type:geograph 
Date Taken
Thursday, 19 January, 2017   (more nearby)
Submitted
Saturday, 21 January, 2017
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Paths  Woodland, Forest 
Primary Subject of Photo
Tree 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 1307 6528 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:58.9172N 1:47.8386W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 13084 65291
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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