Holy Oak

THE HOLY OAK, CHUCK HATCH, HARTFIELD

A service of hymns, poetry readings and music takes place at the Holy Oak once a year during the Merrie Month of May. About 50 people attend and afterwards stay for a chat, while sweets are distributed to the children. We are reminded of a tradition that started in the 1900s. A harmonium, kept at White House Farm, was pushed up the hill to the Holy Oak on Sunday afternoons, in the summer, for the service taken by a minister or lay preacher. Sadly, these ended when traffic became heavier and holding the services in the road under the tree became more difficult.

 

The rumour that the tree might be felled in 2006 gave Mrs Rosemary Marshall, of Chuck Hatch, the idea of renewing the service. Wealden District Council placed a tree preservation order on the Holy Oak and, with Mrs Marshall's organisation, we had our revived service in May 2006 and were thrilled to welcome several people who took part when they were young, in particular Mrs Elizabeth Edwards aged 98.

 

These early details were researched and written by Miss Ella Huntley who lived in Chuck Hatch and her article was put in the Hartfield Times of 1986. There are a number of Hartfield Times, compiled by members of the Hartfield History Group, giving various aspects of the history of Hartfield Village.