Being a keen long distance walker Myself I have often wondered about the ‘money trees and posts’ that are fairly frequently seen along the paths of Britain’s longest trails.
I have seen them in the Lake District, Scotland and even on the PYG track in Wales a money post has been erected on the path ascending to the summit of Snowdon !
Who started this by pushing the first coin into the wood and why ? Is it meant to bring good luck to the lonely traveller starting out on his journey ?
Whatever the reason behind this strange practice I must admit that I have found Myself inclined to participate and have added many coins to these posts over the years, I mean, there must be a reason , right ? Maybe it is lucky ? and a bit of luck might stop the midges eating Me and the dog alive when we camp over on the shores of Loch Lomond. So better safe than sorry in My book.
So after all the years of wondering a friend of mine , Detectorist Martin Matthews, sent Me over an article He found online on this subject, and whilst not actually Metal Detecting or Archaeology it is interesting, it is coins, and imagine the signal you would get sweeping your detector over one of these trees !
“They say money doesn’t grow on trees. But it certainly appears to do so on the mysterious coin-studded trunks dotted around the UK’s woodland.
The strange phenomenon of gnarled old trees with coins embedded all over their bark has been spotted on trails from the Peak District to the Scottish Highlands.
The coins are usually knocked into felled tree trunks using stones by passers-by, who hope it will bring them good fortune.
The tradition of making offerings to deities at wishing trees dates back hundreds of years, but this combination of the man-made and the natural is far more rare.
The act is reminiscent of tossing money into ponds for good luck, or the trend for couples to attach ‘love padlocks’ to bridges and fences to symbolise lasting romance.
Some pubs, such as the Punch Bowl in Askham, Cumbria, have old beams with splits in them into which coins are forced for luck.
There are seven felled tree trunks with coins pushed into them in the picturesque village of Portmeirion, in Wales.
Meurig Jones, an estate manager at the tourist destination, told the BBC: ‘We had no idea why it was being done when we first noticed the tree trunk was being filled with coins.
‘I did some detective work and discovered that trees were sometimes used as “wishing trees”
‘In Britain it dates back to the 1700s – there is one tree in Scotland somewhere which apparently has a florin stuck into it.’
He said that a sick person could press a coin into a tree and their illness would go away.
‘If someone then takes the coin out though, it’s said they then become ill.”
Finally I have been given some answers to My decades long curiosity. 🙂