We are sorry to report that the beloved Paulownia at the southern end of New Square had to be felled on 27 February 2022. It was elderly and starting to drop limbs, which made it unsafe. We are well aware of the affection many had for the tree, and in the spirit of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’, we hope to see the wood from the tree return to use at the Inn.
Before felling, the tree was marked by a timber merchant and it was cut to a particular pattern to maximise future use. The timber has been taken to a milling yard to be cut to lengths and planks before drying. Paulownia wood is very light, so the drying is estimated to take only about 3 months. So by June 2022, we will be able to assess the volume and quality of the wood. We will then send it to selected craftspeople to have a variety of objects made.
Paulownia is native to China and has spread throughout Asia. In Japan, it is a wood that has special significance and many households will have an object made from Paulownia wood. The wood is increasingly popular because of its combination of strength but lightness, this makes it a very popular material for surfboards, though we have no plans to stock these! It is also popular for instrument soundboards, veneers and handcrafts because it is relatively easy to cut, carve and turn.
We hope to sell the products we make in our Inn shop and use some of them around the Inn. In that way, although we have lost the tree in the gardens, it will have a second life in the Inn.