Percy Robinson: Trumpington Trees, Early 1920s

Giant elm tree in fields, 1923. Percy Robinson collection.


Trumpington is noted for its elms, as evidenced by the plantation on the Trumpington Road, and others dotted about the district, but other trees flourish. A huge walnut tree stood for many years in the grounds of Anstey Hall, in the fork of which fifteen men have sat with a barrel of ale. Eventually the tree suffered the usual fate of being cut down. The wood was carefully stored and the present owner of Anstey Hall used the wood for the panelling and doors of his study. Three stately oaks stand in a meadow on the same estate, but unfortunately two have been seriously damaged by storms.

On the lawn of Trumpington Hall may be seen a magnificent cedar and also a fine lime tree, whilst a very old “Judas” tree is trained on the wall. Some very large Scotch firs, and Wellington pines, also stand near the house.

At Leighton on Trunpington Road a good specimen of the monkey-puzzle tree ( Araucaria ) may be seen.

Some good beech trees stand in the Old Mills Plantation.

In the grounds of The Villa, near Cross Hill, is to be seen a fine example of the Tree of Heaven ( Ailantus glandulosa ).

Scanned from Percy Robinson’s original typescript by Howard Slatter.

Following his appointment as Head Teacher of the Church School in 1908, Percy Robinson built up an extensive knowledge of Trumpington’s history. One of his individual notes from the early 1920s is about local trees, reproduced below.