Sylvesters 1915 On November 27th there were big changes at Sylvesters in Lower Froyle when the two Scots Pines between the farmhouse and the cottage were cut down due to safety concerns.
A fungus, phaeolus schweinitzii, which causes rot on the roots had been discovered, and this put both houses at risk from the trees, which could fall without warning.
The trees, whose Latin name is, interestingly, “Pinus sylvestris”, were quite old as the photograph shows. They can live to between 150 and 300 years,and a brief examination of the cut-down trunk puts them about 200 years old.
A persistent theme in the folklore of Scots Pine is their use as markers in the landscape. In areas in the south where the sight of Scots Pine may have been more unusual and their use would have stood out more, they can be seen to mark ancient cairns, trackways and crossroads.
In England they were commonly used to mark not only the drove roads themselves, but also the perimeters of meadows on which passing drovers and their herds could spend the night. There is also the possibly more fanciful suggestion that Scots Pines were planted in England by Jacobite farmers or sympathisers.
“Sylvesters” in its present shape dates back to 1674, which is right in the Jacobite ‘era’, so could the trees have replaced originals planted around that time, and given their name to the house? We shall probably never know! The photograph, on the left, from the Sale Catalogue of the Froyle Estate in 1915, shows that the trees were pretty tall then, while the one on the right shows them being felled in 2016. In fact, they seem to have not grown a lot in the past 100 years!
Sylvesters 2016
Chris & Annette Booth

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  • Froyle, or more accurately, Upper & Lower Froyle, is a small community in North-East Hampshire, some 50 miles from London, in the United Kingdom.
  • We are Chris & Annette Booth and we are the Archivists for the village of Froyle.
  • This site covers the history of Froyle and includes Censuses from 1841 to 1911, Church records, personal reminiscences and over 4000 photographs and maps. There are now well over 2000 pages of information, with more added each month.
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