22 October 2013

The Grand Old Man's Trees

Although Hawarden Castle, Flintshire, the country home of quadruple nineteenth century prime minister William Ewart Gladstone, is not open to the public, some of the surrounding parkland is.

This is accessed via a wicket in a town centre set of gates that, to the casual observer, would appear not to provide ingress. The park is home to some fine specimen trees.

Into his eighties, part of Gladstone's exercise regime came in the form of walking the park, about which he would carry a heavy axe. If a tree could not be retained, it was Gladstone who felled it.

Gladstone: "We cut down that we may improve. We remove rottenness that we may restore health by letting in air and light. As a good Liberal, you ought to understand that."

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