Leasgill - Eversley (Cumbria)
|Giant Redwood - June 2018
|Thanks to David for letting us know about another Giant Sequoia he found in Lancashire. "Whilst I was at Levens hall I spotted a Giant Sequoia in the distance towering above the treeline. A quick drive down the A6 towards a hamlet called Leasgill revealed a driveway up to a former stately home called Eversley. At the start of the driveway stood the magnificent sequoia, a really impressive tree. It had slight damage to the bark at the base and was weeping a dark substance. Other than that it appeared in fine fettle."
The damage to the tree may have been caused by a lightning strike, I wonder whether when the upper part of the tree is struck the bolt also jumps out to the damp ground from the lower part of the trunk, I could be wrong perhaps someone more familiar with these events could enlightning us!
* * * Update - July 2019 * * *
Debbie wrote to say, "I was trying to find a photo of the house I lived in as a child, which was Eversley, Leasgill, and came across your site and the photo of the huge redwood that grew at the bottom of the drive. We moved there c. 1965 and the tree was there then. I don't remember it having that lightning damage at any time when we lived there - we moved some time around 1974. My memory may be faulty but I have a feeling we used to put glitter on cones from the tree and hang them on our Christmas tree. I am so pleased it was at least still there when that photo was taken!"
That's a great story about you remembering decorating cones from the tree at Christmas time.
I couldn't say how long ago the lightning strike happened but it's quite possible it was after you left the house in 1974.
* * * Update - April 2020 * * *
Thanks to William who sent a photograph of this watercolour of Eversley from 1910 and he wrote "I've never been to Eversley, but my granny (Pamela Drew) grew up there before Debbie's time I guess and before they sold Eversley and moved to High Leasghyll, where I spent a lot of time until the early 1990s. I'm not sure there's a wellingtonia featured - unless its at the left hand side of the picture?"
* * * Update - August 2020 * * *
A resident wrote to let us know that "the house was divided into three residences in 1954. The tree shown above is in the garden belonging to number 1, and there is another in the garden owned by number 3. The man who owned no 1 at the time chose to set fire to an old mattress under the tree so it certainly wasn't struck by lightning, but it was quite a blaze."
What a very sad story about the man and the mattress, although these tall trees are prone to lightning strikes, so it was a reasonable speculation. Thank you for your assistance with the details of the actual event that caused the scar on the tree. The Giant Redwood has an amazing fireproof bark so the scar bears testament to its survival techniques.
* * * Update - November 2020 * * *
The Eversley story continues, Tony wrote to say "We have lived at Eversley House since 2012. The tree is in our grounds.
I can corroborate the story about the burning mattress - our neighbours at Eversley Lodge, who have lived there for a long time, have told us about it previously.
It was a real pleasure to see our tree on your site.
We love it and enjoy a coffee in bed at the weekend, looking straight out at it - the property is in an elevated position, up the driveway, so we get a fantastic view of it.
I note that you have received correspondence from the grandchild of Pamela Drew. The Drews took over the Eversley Estate from the Argles in the 1920's. The Argles had the house built for them 1859 to 1871. Your article correctly states that the main residence was split into individual properties in the 1950's. We have framed copies of the architect's (Haighs) drawings on our walls at home - before and after drawings. Fascinating to study. We are very passionate about the house and its history - we even have a picture of Thomas Argles (house was built by his mother and father for him- Frank Argles) on our fireplace."
* * * Update - February 2021 * * *
This page helped to connect Tony with William and they were able to swap their memories of Eversley, it's great that the history is being passed on.
Tony also sent this photograph of when construction of the main house was completed in 1860.