Rotting oak tree in Alconbury pub garden given new lease of life with chainsaws

Tree stump art, at The Manor House, Alconbury, owner Anne Jones, in the garden.

Tree stump art, at The Manor House, Alconbury, owner Anne Jones, in the garden. - Credit: Archant

An old tree stump that stands in a pub garden in Alconbury has been given a new lease of life, thanks to two men wielding chainsaws.

Tree stump art, at The Manor House, Alconbury, owner Anne Jones, in the garden.

Tree stump art, at The Manor House, Alconbury, owner Anne Jones, in the garden. - Credit: Archant

Amazingly, this intricate work, which features several faces and sports an eagle at the top, was carved using specially adapted chainsaws and took just one week to complete.

The Holm Oak tree had developed a fungal disease, so last October, the management team at the Alconbury Manor pub and restaurant decided rather than leave the beautiful old tree stump to rot they would make a feature of it.

Anne Jones, who is joint-owner of the pub in Chapel Street, described the finished project as “amazing” and said it was attracting lots of attention.

“The tree was diseased and had become dangerous so it had to be chopped down, but after seeing some carvings elsewhere we decided to make a feature of what was left of it,” she said.

Tree stump art, at The Manor House, Alconbury, owner Anne Jones, in the garden.

Tree stump art, at The Manor House, Alconbury, owner Anne Jones, in the garden. - Credit: Archant


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“It has been extremely popular in the village and we light it up at night so that people can get the full effect.”

The work was carried out by Dennis Heath and David Flemons who run a carvings workshop at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire.

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The pair use standard chainsaws with adapted bars at one end to carry out the more intricate work. Mr Heath, who has been a tree sculptor for 25 years, said he was given a brief by the Manor House, but the carvings evolved as they went along.

“It was a difficult project as there were lots of cavities in the tree due to the damage caused by disease, but the finished result is very pleasing. We started with the brief, but Dave and I came up with lots of ideas as we went along and it just evolved.”

Tree stump art, at The Manor House, Alconbury, owner Anne Jones, in the garden.

Tree stump art, at The Manor House, Alconbury, owner Anne Jones, in the garden. - Credit: Archant

INFORMATION: If you would like to see a demonstration of the wood carvings, go to www.knebworthcarvings.co.uk.

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