If you’ve ever travelled from Hethersett to Wymondham along the B1172 you’ve gone past it, and if you didn’t know it was there then you may miss it. But perhaps you’ve spotted it and wondered why there is a metal fence around an old tree. Afterall, it’s just an Oak Tree that to the uninitiated is just as gnarly and weathered as any other ancient tree. However, this tree is Kett’s Oak; a tree with roots deep in Norfolk’s rebellious past.
Ketts Oak is one of 50 Great British Trees selected by The Tree Council in 2002 to spotlight trees in Great Britain in honour of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.
Here’s the inscription on a plaque at the base of the tree, erected by the Hethersett Society in 2006. This pretty much gives you a good idea why this tree is has historic importance to the people of Hethersett, Wymondham, Norwich, Norfolk and in the wider context England and the UK too.
“A historic view of Kett’s Oak.
Kett’s Oak, although it stands just inside the Hethersett Parish boundary, is named after Robert and William Kett of Wymondham, who assembled their men at this point in 1549, before marching on Norwich.
Their grievances were mainly to do with enclosing the common lands and the rising cost of living. Various enclosure hedges were ‘thrown down’ by their respective followers, and the revolt was underway.”
You can see from our picture above that a long time ago some iron bands were placed around the trunk of the tree, and over time the bark has grown over the bands.
There you go. Kett’s Oak; Whenever you drive by you won’t miss it again!