There's an old saying: 'If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.' It popped into my head as I walked along the river path at Bolton Abbey, when I came across a tree stump fashioned into a seat. It might have made a good seat with a fine view of the river - except that it had been studded with hundreds of coins. These coin-studded 'wishing trees' are found all over the UK. In fact, there are quite a few on this one estate. The custom dates back centuries, related to the superstitious belief that if a sick person pressed a coin into a tree it would take away the illness, driving it into the tree. Conversely, if someone pulls a coin out, they may fall ill. 'Wishing trees' exist all over the world, often with tokens or ribbons hung from their branches, and I guess the custom also links to the habit of throwing coins in a fountain and other such traditions. Once one person starts, others follow - perhaps not even really knowing why they are doing it. Anyway, there are a lot of 'wishes' here... hopefully some of them got answered.
PS: Yesterday’s weather vane shows a fisherman, though it may have some bits missing.
There must be a lot of sick people passing by that tree. Lets hope they're all better (if a little poorer) now.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the weathervane description. It looked like he might be playing badmitton, but I thought that highly unlikely wearing a hat! I've never seen a coin tree. Odd - but lots of fountains full of pennies, so what is odd about that?ReplyDelete
I'd never heard of wishing trees--an interesting superstition.ReplyDelete
I have never heard of that custom. Fishing makes sense now.ReplyDelete
A new concept to me.ReplyDelete
That's one custom that apparently didn't make it over here....kind of a surprise that it didn't.ReplyDelete