In Christianity the yew is a symbol for the Resurrection. It lives way past the human life span, never loses it green foliage, and can regrow from broken trunks. The two large yew trees in Hanmer churchyard are several hundred years old. It is recorded that in the church fire of 1889 they three times caught fire and three times were saved when the fires were put out. These two yews are mentioned in the biographical novel, Bad Blood’ by Lorna Sage. She describes them as the place where the black cat had its kittens in the hollows of the trunks. The yews thrive today and shelter the groundsman’s barrow.
Green yew branches were used in Palm Sunday processions and placed on memorials on All Saints Day in place of palms. Mourners cast green foliage down onto coffins at churchyard burials as a symbol of Resurrection. Today they have found a new use as a source of chemicals used in modern medicine.
Entered 6th December 2014 last updated 18th October 2018 by Bill