The Hardy Tree

The Hardy Tree in St Pancras Gardens sadly fell during the Christmas period. 

It is widely believed that novelist and poet Thomas Hardy arranged the headstones here in 1865. 

During the 1860s the new Midland Railway line was being built as part of the development of St Pancras station. The railway line ran across part of the original Old St Pancras church graveyard, which meant many of the burials needed to be moved. 

Before becoming a well-known writer, Thomas Hardy worked as an architect’s assistant in the 1860s. He was given the job of overseeing the removal of the churchyard burials to a new cemetery. It is thought that Hardy stacked the remaining headstones together, to create this monument around the tree. It is unclear if he also planted a tree, but the tree here has become known as ‘The Hardy Tree’.

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden

We were very sorry to see that the much-loved Hardy Tree has come down and we have already started the discussion with members of the local community about ways to commemorate the tree and its story.

 "Sadly, the Hardy Tree was infected with a fungus in 2014 and since then we've been taking steps to manage its final few years. The tree was disturbed by storms earlier this year, increasing the chance that it would fall. Since then, we've reduced the size of the tree's crown so when it fell it was within a fenced area to keep visitors safe.

Councillor Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a Sustainable Camden

Camden Council is currently looking at options for commemorating the Hardy Tree, including harvesting the wood to create a commemorative object or planting a new tree.