The Soly Joel Oak
Another oak, a little messed about, but providing a good habitat for wildlife and an impressive sight for passers-by (Girth approx. 5.5 metres)
It’s in Maiden Erlegh Drive, which would once have been the drive to Maiden Erlegh House. It’s still lined with some big oaks including our Old Timer, which is the biggest. This tree must have seen many comings and goings over a period of 350 years, and was perhaps a sprouting acorn when William of Orange and his wife Mary came to the throne.
If only it could talk. No doubt it might remember the fantastic parties Soly Joel (the owner of Maiden Erlegh Hse in the early part of the 20th century, and a keen race-horse owner) held in Ascot Week; or the showgirls arriving from the West End theatre owned by Soly, who came to swim in the magnificent Pompeian pool. It would have been a sapling in the time of George I, and may once have stood just outside the entrance to the big house, in what was Earley Heath. This was later enclosed and the owner of the House at the time extended the drive out to Forest Road (Wokingham Road).
It probably doesn’t appreciate the graffiti and the litter it endures now.
Thanks to Sheila Crowson for the details and pictures.