Episode 5 - The Midsummer Tree

The Midsummer Tree, Skeleton Tree or Hanging Tree is situated adjacent to the Grove Lodge roundabout of the A27 on the outskirts of Worthing on the South East Coast of England.

Possibly the least cosmic location in the world.

But the tree is host to an old story, about skeletons rising from its roots at midnight on midsummers eve, and dancing around the tree, to the rattling of their own bones until daybreak.

The story came to save the tree from destruction and removal.  This episode tracks down the origins of the story, and the power of stories to change a place and the way people relate to it.

This episode is funded by Adur & Worthing Trust's Creative Commissions.

I speak to Peter Whish - Head Gardener at Highdown Gardens:


Chris Hare, local Historian:


Chris Anderson, Musican Crayola Lectern:


Jacqueline SImpson, Folklorist and Researcher: