Bob Ward
Tree Trunk with Coins, Keswick, UK

In the British Isles, there is an ancient custom of putting coins into tree trunks or wooden boards for good luck or to heal or ward off disease. Perhaps the most famous of these trees is in the Isle de Marie in Scotland where Queen Victoria placed a penny in the bark of a tree some believed healed illnesses. (Other healing powers related to the island included being able to cure insanity, but this involved rowing the insane thrice around the island and dunking them thrice in the cold waters before a coin was placed in the tree’s bark). Whatever its origins and its reasons, the custom of putting coins into tree trunks or boards continues to this day. The photograph below is of a tree trunk in Keswick, UK.

Tree Trunk with Coins, Keswick, UK, Bob Ward, photograph, 2017