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Letter: Sacred trees

Sir: David Keys seems to report as a generality that after the Roman conquest sacred trees were removed ("Ancient Surrey temple shows Celts were tree-worshippers", 11 September). Not so. Large numbers of parish churches have been built to the south of yew trees that are now generally recognised to be some 3,000 years old.

The unanswered question is how these sacred trees often survived as hallowed sites between Celtic times and the Anglo-Saxon conversion. Of course, the sites being under venerable churches makes the answer more difficult but, since there was a reluctance in medieval times to bury to the north of the church, there may still be places where one can dig.