Ware (Easnye Estate)
|Field (south of Cross Road)|
|Distance (N) from Greenwich|
|OS map details||OS Explorer: 174|
|OS grid ref||TL 37902.12970|
|WGS84 lat/long||51.798381, -0.001586|
|Access||None, but visible from public road|
One of three surviving trees from a line of poplars planted along the Meridian on the Easnye estate in 1903. The trees are the oldest known marking of the Meridian for non-astronomical purposes. What prompted their planting or how the exact location of the line was determined remains a mystery. The estate map – a hand annotated copy of the OS 1:2,500 edition published in 1898 – shows the line of trees and their date of planting, but not their individual positions. The map as originally published however gives no clues as to where the Meridian runs.
At the time of marking, the estate was owned by John Henry Buxton, a director of the brewing firm Truman, Buxton and Hanbury. Intriguingly, his marking may have been influenced by the presence of the obelisk dating from 1897 in the Isabel Christie Park two miles to the south. The land for the park was donated by Charles Peter Christie, owner of the Christie Brewery in Hoddesdon, who erected the obelisk in memory of his late wife, Isabel Constance Christie. It seems reasonable to imagine that Christie would have known Buxton as both a fellow brewer and as a neighbour. Although the obelisk’s location on the Meridian may be a mere coincidence, is it possible that Christie deliberately sited it there because he shared the same surname as the then Astronomer Royal, William Christie or perhaps even because he was distantly related to him? And if Christie did deliberately put it there, is this what gave Buxton the idea of planting the trees?