Canterbury's curious Plane trees | Things to do | Visit Canterbury

Canterbury's curious Plane trees | Things to do

Canterbury's curious Plane trees

Canterbury's curious Plane trees


There are seven trees mysteriously dotted around the city which, when seen from above, seem to form a cross covering two and a half miles. No one really knows who planted them, or why, or whether their shape was even intentional.

What you need to know

You’ll find them in the cathedral grounds, Westgate Gardens, near Canterbury Castle, off Beer Cart Lane, along New Dover Road and at St Gregory’s Church, which is now a music centre.

Known as ‘Baobabs Planes’, at least three were planted in the early 1800s, by local Victorian botanist and landscape designer William Masters.

They are easy to spot due to their distinctive bulbous bark and impressive wide trunks, which is said to be the result of a viral infection.

The largest and oldest plane tree is in Westgate Gardens, believed to be the oldest specimen in the country at 200 years old. It has a girth of nearly nine metres and its growing trunk has consumed the circular bench that once surrounded it!

Baobab trees continue to be discovered in Canterbury, with a new one found just this year.

There’s a statue of William Masters in The Beaney.

Why not visit all seven with a two-hour walk around the city.


Westgate Gardens