Tree smashes down on Florence's tomb

Florence Nightingale's tomb among the branches of a fallen tree at St Margaret's Church, Wellow

Florence Nightingale's tomb among the branches of a fallen tree at St Margaret's Church, Wellow

First published in Romsey
Last updated

One of the Test Valley’s most famous monuments has fallen victim to the winter storms.

A huge lime tree toppled onto Florence Nightingale’s tomb in East Wellow on Friday night.

The tree, estimated to be between 80 and 100 feet tall, broke the cross and pinnacle off the top of the 10ft marble memorial and almost jolted the whole structure from its plinth.

Brian Scott, a former churchwarden at St Margaret’s, who tends the churchyard said: “It was amazing that the tree missed every other gravestone. None of the others are damaged.”

Vicar of Wellow, the Rev Chris Pettet, said: “It’s obviously very sad news, given the affection for Florence Nightingale that there is across the county and the whole country.”

He said that the church was in discussions with experts about repairs and added that he hoped the memorial could be restored in time for the annual Florence Nightingale Service held at St Margaret’s in May.

The memorial, which attracts visitors from all over the world, predates Florence’s death in 1910 by some years, as it was the family tomb and her parents, who lived at nearby Embley Park, are buried there too.

The church itself was undamaged by the falling tree, but as the lime’s roots were ripped from the ground, they brought down part of the churchyard wall.

Mr Scott added that a sinkhole, measuring about a metre wide by two metres deep, had opened up in another part of the churchyard during the recent storms and this had been coned off.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree