Painswick Yews, Gloucestershire

NOISY CHURCHYARD, silent trees

After Climperwell, I drove to Painswick to see the famous clipped yews in St Mary’s churchyard. After the peace, quiet and joy of Climperwell, it was a shock. The churchyard seemed to be a major thoroughfare  and there was the sound of a violin and piano practising in the church – probably Haydn, I should think. In a way, the stiff classical music fitted the restricted clipping of the yews, but it didn’t fit my mood. I’ve met a lot of churchyard yews in my time, but none of them were as silent as these. I couldn’t even get them to acknowledge me, let alone share a song. I guess they’ve had it clipped out of them, like a songbird in a cage. I left as people began queuing outside the church for the concert. There was nothing for me here.

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