Preston Park Elm trees find new life aboard famous ship


Elm trees felled in Preston Park are making history aboard one of the world’s most famous ships. 

The trees had to be felled earlier this year after becoming infected with elm disease, but the salvaged wood has been used in the renovation of the Golden Hinde in London, a replica of the 14th century galleon captained by Sir Francis Drake during his circumnavigation of the globe between 1577 and 1580.

Re-using the elm wood

Leader of the renovation project Toby Millinder was on the lookout for elm wood to make some of the ship’s new components, including 92 ‘deadeyes’ which are used to support the ship’s rigging. The thick wooden discs feature several holes though which lanyards or lines are run. Elm wood is ideal for deadeyes as its grains interlock, which prevents splitting.

The old ‘deadeyes’ on board the Golden Hinde have been replaced using wood from Preston Park.
© Brighton & Hove City Council.

After contacting the councils’ arboriculture team, arrangements were made to transfer the timber to the Golden Hinde workshop.

“I’m very pleased to have sourced the elm from Brighton” said Toby. “Elm is a timber with unique characteristics, which are utilised for traditional ship building. We used around 1.5 tons and this made 70 deadeyes.”

The new Brighton elm deadeyes.
© Brighton & Hove City Council.

A new lease of life

Councillor Anne Pissaridou, chair of the council’s environment committee, said:

Elm disease has had a devastating effect on many of the city’s precious elm trees which means we have to remove them when they show signs of disease to save the remaining healthy elm trees. But it’s wonderful that these trees are now being reused in this way, taking their place in maritime history, and bringing a little piece of Brighton & Hove to the world famous Golden Hinde.

Featured image: © Brighton & Hove City Council.


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