Most of us will have tossed a coin into a fountain, or dropped a penny down a wishing well, hoping that our wishes will come true. In the beautiful gardens of Whitchurch Silk Mill in the heart of rural Hampshire, a Great Wishing Tree will glisten and sparkle this December, from the end of Lockdown on the 2nd December until the 20th December, where people can leave their wishes and hopes.
Across the world and across the centuries people and wildlife have been attracted to trees for the refuge they provide. A wishing tree is a tree which has been chosen and is used for offerings and wishes. People travel from miles around to see these trees to have a wish granted, or a prayer heard. Sometimes they present offerings for good luck, including coins and in China, where silk originated, Wishing Trees are often decorated with ribbons. The Whitchurch Wishing Tree will be decorated in lights and ribbons woven on the Mill’s historic looms, the first time in many years these ribbons have been woven.
For many this is a bleak time of year, made worse by the pandemic that has rocked our world. The Great Wishing Tree of Whitchurch will hopefully mark the beginning of the end of this time, as we wish for a new beginning. The outdoor Wishing Tree installation from Zeal Live and Palmbrokers will hopefully entice the community and visitors back to see the Mill, after its closure due to Covid19 restrictions.
Sue Tapliss, the Mill Director said “We want people to make a wish. Write it down on a piece of paper and tie it onto the fence that protects our Great Wishing Tree. We are asking all local people to do the same, to keep wishing, until the fence is covered with wishes”.
It will be an amazing centrepiece framed against this iconic water mill on the banks of the crystal-clear waters of the River Test. The Mill, Shop, and Café will be open Tuesday to Sunday 10.30am to 5.00pm with Friday late night opening until 7pm. Admission to the Great Wishing Tree and Special Exhibition by The Hampshire Artists Co-operative Exhibition is free.