Mendelssohn’s Tree

by Ben Johnson

Standing isolated on the concrete walkways of the Barbican, Mendelssohn’s Tree is essentially the remains of a 500 year old Beech Tree which fell in the forest of Burnham Beeches, Buckinghamshire, during a storm in January 1990.

The ancient woodland of Burnham Beeches was actually purchased by the Corporation of London on behalf of the nation in 1880, hence the rather peculiar link to the Barbican estate.

The forest was once the favourite haunt of the composter Felix Mendelssohn during his frequent visits to the area, and rumour has it that he used to sit under this tree gaining inspiration to write several works including some of the incidental music to ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

The hollowed out tree actually looks like it could double as a rather uncomfortable chair, although we don’t recommend it (in fact, we’re fairly sure it’s not allowed!). To find the oddly placed stump simply head to Barbican tube station and follow the signs to the Barbican Highwalk.

Getting here
Easily accessible by both bus and rail, please try our London Transport Guide for help in getting around the capital.

Mendelssohns Tree

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