Living avenue of trees in Westminster Abbey. Can we keep them?

I ended up watching about five minutes of the royal wedding this morning – enough to see the setting and the dress. While the world is poring over pictures of said dress (Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen in case you were wondering) I’d like to say I absolutely loved having the trees inside Westminster Abbey.

Maple trees for the Royal Wedding in Westminster Abbey

Maple trees in Westminster Abbey

I spent part of my undergraduate degree looking at the architecture of Canterbury Cathedral and, while there’s a lot to be said for the beauty of branch-like gothic stonework, I struggle to engage with something so static and massive. Stained glass helps matters with sunlight pouring through the windows and spraying coloured light over pews and columns but the addition of living trees was inspired.

Stained glass at Palma Cathedral - Philippa Warr

Stained glass at Palma Cathedral - Philippa Warr

According to floral artistic diractor Shane Connolly  “These wonderful curved ceilings are supposed to reflect the branches of trees and that was what I thought of when I thought of having trees in the abbey.”

The trees – maples for the nave and hornbeams in the choir – will remain in situ for a week after the ceremony to allow the visitors and congregation to enjoy them.

More churches could do with a touch of natural beauty in my opinion. Did you love them?

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