Making a Start at Sewerby Hall

Making a Start at Sewerby Hall

A huge 150 year-old Monkey Puzzle tree blew down at Sewerby Hall, near Bridlington last March; Yarburgh Lloyd-Greame planted this (and the others on site) in 1868 with seeds brought back from South America, and when the vicious winds swept it over the decision was made to use the timber to enhance part of the gardens at Sewerby Hall.

These photos were sent to me this week by Catherine Conolly; they were shown on BBC’s Look North at the time

The idea was developed to have the trunk milled into 14 thick planked sections which would be carved with nature-related phrases, quotes or lines from poems, along with an animal or bird; these would form part of a woodland walk or trail in the gardens.

The slabs had weathered quite a bit over the year, but a spot of sanding brightened them up

I’d never heard of anyone carving Monkey Puzzle before ~ I know it’s quite popular with wood-turners who can create attractive bowls using the patterns formed by the large knots, but of course these knots can be a hindrance to a carver. Because of this I was a little wary when I started, but it carved surprisingly well, and took a fair amount of detail.

The hare was completed in a day, just the accompanying text to add