The Wish Tree

Dorset is a great place to be a photographer (except today when it’s been raining heavily all day!). Within a short drive there’s heathland, castles, old market towns, varied coastline, towns – well small ones, downland and hundreds of historic churches and villages. Before you think this is an advert for the local tourist board, I’ll get on with it.

Apart from the ‘normal’ locations, there are some very atmospheric sites, often hidden away down long farm tracks or in woodland.

These shots are taken at a ‘wish tree’ – two ancient Yew trees really – which are in an isolated spot near a complex of neolithic monuments and a ruined church – definitely an atmospheric location and a favourite place to visit. There’s a real mish-mash of equipment used for these so I won’t try to detail the kit used for each shot.

A theory is that the ancient monuments remained a focus for pagan activity well into the 1300’s, and the church – which served a now long abandoned village 1/2 mile away – was placed in the centre of the monuments to ward off any lingering doubts that the church was now in charge.

The objects put in the wish trees seem to change very regularly – almost as if someone is tidying them up, then they’re replaced with different ones.

Some like the one above are very elaborate – this must have taken someone a long time.

There are often cryptic messages and names attached but what the wishes are remain a mystery. Let’s hope they came true.

As always these shots are taken for the book cover market, and all comments, critiques and questions are welcome.

Thanks for looking!


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