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Cabbie’s Curios: Berkley’s Barks

Berkley Square, which lies within the heart of Mayfair, is one of London’s most exclusive spots.

Despite its central location, Berkley Square is a peaceful, leafy place; characteristics enhanced by a collection of towering plane trees, which are striking both in their height and beauty. 

These trees were planted in 1789 by a local resident named Edward Bouverie, and are said to be amongst the oldest in london.

To put that into context, 1789 was the year in which the Bastille in Paris was stormed, thus sparking the French Revolution. George Washington became the first president of the United States, and William Blake was penning poems. Music of the day came courtesy of Beethoven and Mozart. 

Plane trees are especially suited to London, as their tough bark acts as a kind of air filter; absorbing pollution and shedding the dirty bark accordingly. Probably why these particular specimens have lasted for so long. 

In 2008, one of the Berkley Square Planes was valued at a stunning £750,000… making it the most valuable tree in the UK! 

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