Coins removed from wish tree on popular walk

The wish tree near Richmond.

Walkers have expressed surprise after hundreds of coins were removed from a ‘wish tree’ on a popular walk.

The coins had been pushed into a tree trunk besides the River Swale on the footpath between Richmond and Easby Abbey.

The route is known as the Drummer Boy Walk as it follows the route that legend has it was taken by a young drummer boy sent down a mystery tunnel found by soldiers at Richmond Castle.

The practise of pushing coins into trees is thought to date back to the 18th century.

It was said that you could cure illness by sticking a coin into a wishing tree so that the tree would assume the disease.

Others thought that they would be granted a wish by pushing a coin into a tree.

The images of the Richmond wish tree without the coins have been shared online.

Several social media users said they saw a woman with what looked to be a hammer and chisel besides the tree earlier in the week.

One person who noticed the coins had gone said: “I was really surprised – there was loads of them so it must have taken them ages to get them out.

“A lot of them would be bent over so they wouldn’t be any use – it’s just a strange thing to do.”

Another social media user said: “I can’t believe someone would do that.”

Another person said: “Just why? They must be really desperate for cash to spend that long taking them all out. Such a shame.”

Other people have joked that whoever has taken them out may now be in for some bad luck.

“I can’t believe someone had stolen wishes – they’re cursed now,” they said.

But others have suggested they may have been taken out for environmental reasons.

One person said: “Yes the tree had been cut but it was very much still alive – the root system is help keeping the bank together, driving the coins in was poisoning the stump and killing it.”





  1. How mean can you be? There is every chance Covid 19 could be lurking on a recent coin so the thief may suffer.

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