The recent post on stiles prompted one of our subscribers to remember part of an old nursery rhyme:
There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;
Her comment reminded us of a sight that we have seen several times while on some of the more popular walks in England, … money trees.
The first time we encountered a felled tree with coins hammered and bent into the wood, we assumed it was a one-of-a-kind find. Then we came across others. Some were covered with dozens of coins, and others so heavily covered that there was scarcely any room for more coins.
It seems that, according to legends that date back to the beginning of the 18th century, if a sick person stuck in a coin into a tree, their illness will be gone. Someone who pulls out the coin though, will become ill.
More recently it seems that people hammer coins into felled trees for good luck, similar to tossing a coin into a fountain, or dropping a penny down a wishing well. From the looks of some of these trees, it would seem that there are many lucky folks out there, though a bit poorer perhaps.
And the entire nursery rhyme: