Friday, 20 November 2020

The Tree Cathedral

These are some photographs of the Tree Cathedral in Milton Keynes. This cathedral of trees is based on Norwich Cathedral and designed by landscape architect Neil Higson. The plan of the ‘building’ was shaped in earth and planted in 1986, with a range of different tree species used to establish the character of its component parts. Neil Higson describes its planting, ‘Tall evergreen trees form the central tower and spires of the west and east ends, and pines define the walls. The Nave is lined with Fastigate Hornbeam and tall growing Lime trees. Poplars occupy the north and south aisles, removed as slower growing species reach maturity. The choir is planted with Golden Ash and the chancel in Holm Oak. Flowering cherries and apples form foci in the chapels. The Transepts are simply treated but punctuated with small columnar evergreens at focal points. The Cloisters take the form of a large slightly sunken square lined with Hornbeam and the Chapter House is a conical mound, crowned with laurels, from the top of which the cathedral can be viewed....and colourful bulb planting interprets the effect of sun shining through the stained glass windows onto the grounds.'

Alex Fox

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