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Falling Church Cedar wakes residents

by Michael Ford last modified 09 Apr, 2019 05:03 PM

A "thunderous crash" emanating from a Wiltshire churchyard was so loud, it woke local residents in the middle of the night.

The groundshaking noise had been caused by several tons of the massive canopy of a ancient cedar tree crashing to the ground.

David Ferguson, a church member of All Saints' Durrington, said the noise was so great, local people were able to say exactly when it happened:

"At 1.36am on Monday 25 March, the residents close to All Saints' Church Durrington were violently roused with a thunderous crash as the churchyard cedar shed several tons of its massive canopy.

"The cedar, with a girth of over 24 feet, has been a landmark in the churchyard since in was planted in the 1800s.

"A relatively insignificant Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) sapling was planted at the western end of the Durrington churchyard. It is now over 70 feet high," David said.

Speculation still exisits as to why the massive tree chose a calm night to shed such a large part of its canopy.

"It was a calm cool night, so there was no obvious reason for such an event. An opinion is the rising heavy sap over-stressed a weakened upper bough," David said.

Luckily, no one was injured by the falling branches and damage to the churchyard was minimal.

The Revd Philip Bromiley of the Avon River Team posted a picture of the damage on the Church's Facebook page and commented on the clean up operation:
"Excitement and hard work today at All Saints today"

David said he and a team set to work straight away to remove the downed branches.

"Shortly after daybreak, the sound of a chain saw reverberated as the tangled mess was systematically dissected by a quickly-gathered church clearance team. Vigorous activity continued throughout the day to leave a cleared path to the church.

"The final tidy-up was completed later in the week. The Rector’s wood store was a key benefactor. Two damaged headstones and a clearer view of the Church are the main signs that this peaceful part of old Durrington had experienced such a rude awakening."

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