Last autumn, St Catherine of Siena Church was kindly presented with a sapling of a Chichester Elm (Ulmus × hollandica ‘Cicestria’), by Richard Smith, the Midhurst-based arborist. The young tree spent the winter in a pot near the door of St Catherine’s, but has now been planted at the bottom end of Cocking churchyard.
The Chichester Elm was first cloned at Chichester Hall, Rawreth in Essex at the beginning of the 18th century. During the 16th century, the hall was the home of the Andrewes family, one of whom, Lancelot, was Bishop of Chichester from 1605 to 1607 and was the principal translator of the King James Version of the Bible.
There is a more specific link to Cocking as Lancelot’s younger brother, Roger, who was also a member of the company which translated the bible, was the vicar of Cocking from September 1606 to July 1609.
The Chichester Elm is resistant to Dutch Elm disease and should grow to a height of at least 30ft. It seems to be enjoying the recent damp weather and is producing a lot of new growth.
We wish it well!
2nd May 2018