In 1887 on June the 21st, the time of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, two thanksgiving services were held, addressed by the Reverend HA Barrett and a supply of beef and raisins were distributed to the cottages of the Parish and the Jubilee Oak was planted on the village green.
Over time as the village green changed with the pond disappearing to be replaced by an RSPCA horse trough and eventually the trough going as well to be succeeded by a bus shelter and the tarmacadam surface we have at the moment. Meanwhile the Oak continued to grow and the original iron railings round it were removed to give the tree more room.
As the tree continued to grow maintenance was carried out as required, the last time being the winter of 2012/2013.
In 2002 the Tree Council decided to celebrate the Queens Golden Jubilee by finding 50 great trees in the UK. The Tree Warden at the time Eric Wilkinson, along with Langley with Hardley Tree Warden Carol Carpenter suggested the Chedgrave Oak and it was included. The reason it was included in the book and the pictures that were taken was due to it being the only one whose age is accurately known, with all the history to go with it.
The Oak, because of its position is in the Broads Conservation Area and is automatically protected from damage or removal and is such a magnificent example of an Oak that as a Village landmark it needs all the maintenance and cosseting we can give it. To keep the Tree in good health it has been suggested by the Tree Officer of SNDC that the roots need more oxygen and hopefully this will cut down the amount of deadwood and thus the maintenance costs. To this end it is proposed to lift some of the asphalt on the Village Green out as far as the drip line which is the extent of the branch tips.
Thanks go to the Loddon and District Local History Group and Carol Carpenter for the information in this article.