Exmoor – where money grows on trees

For centuries and across cultures, people have attributed trees with special powers. In some countries, trees are covered in red ribbons or notes, and throughout the UK, coins play a special role.  One of the money trees can be found near Tarr Steps on Exmoor, as photographed by Charlie Hickman (photo above the headline).

The wishing tree is studded with coins, hammered in by villagers and tourists with the help of stones. People used to believe that sticking a coin into a wishing tree would pass an illness to the tree – and onto the person who pulled the coin out again.  The custom goes back to the beginning of the 18th century; one of them, an oak wish tree in the Scottish Highlands, gained fame when Queen Victoria visited it in 1877.

So far we have been unable to find out how old the wishing tree is at Tarr Steps.  If you have any further information about this, please put them in the comments below!

 

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