Trees bloom for Remembrance Day
A PROJECT is hoping to restore Glencruitten’s Cathedral of Trees, planted to honour the fallen of the Great War.
As Remembrance Sunday approaches this weekend, one project is planning to restore the Cathedral of Trees, the only living tree cathedral in Scotland.
The Glencruitten Cathedral of Trees was planted in the 1920s by Alexander Mackay, who bought the land exactly 100 years ago in 1917. His granddaughter, the Rev Nicola Moll, who started the Cathedral of Trees Restoration Project, said Alexander wished to create a war memorial as well as rebuild life and the town after the war, modelled the layout on St Andrews Cathedral.
‘A man who plants trees has en eye on eternity’, Mrs Moll said, but nearly a century on the cathedral of trees needs urgent work to fix the drains, re-establish the path, and restore its natural and spiritual beauty.
The project’s website explains: ‘Alexander Mackay was a Dundee businessman who made his fortune in the USA and moved his family to Glencruitten House in Argyll after his house in Broughty Ferry burned down.
‘Although in his sixties when he bought the house, he was a man of huge energy and soon began a programme of forestation over much of the estate. He saw this as an important contribution towards the replacement of trees which had been lost to the nation through the demand for timber during the Great War.
‘Forestry work and the building of tracks and woodland paths also gave employment to local people – many of them former soldiers returning home from the trenches.
‘As the years passed, he noticed the trees in one valley – a beautiful spot that looked towards Ben Cruachan – failed to flourish. Rather than abandon the area, he decided to redeem it and create a Cathedral of Trees, his memorial to the First World War and a celebration of both his love of trees and his strong faith.
‘To our knowledge, it is the only living cathedral of its kind in Scotland. In 2016, three of Alexander’s relatives decided to take on the restoration of this site so the local community and anyone who is searching for quiet spot for reflection would be able to enjoy it.
‘We hope that once the site is back to its former glory, many people will benefit from it for their own enjoyment as well as for the benefit of the wider public including schools, community groups and pilgrims.’
There will be a remembrance service in Oban on Sunday to honour those who have died in the line of duty.
A parade will depart from the Corran Halls to the War Memorial at 10.45am and a two minutes’ silence will commence at 11am.
Everyone is welcome to attend.
Gleaner Oils will be displaying poppies across its fleet of commercial vehicles to show support for the Remembrance Day.
The memorial stones at the Glencruitten Cathedral of Trees in Oban.
Gleaner Oils is supporting Remembrance Day with poppies.
The stunning Cathedral of Trees requires restoration.