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View, England, Kent, Fredville, Ancient Oak Tree, Views of Manor Houses in Kent, Antique Print, 1778-99


John George Wood (d. 1838) (after)
William Green (1760-1823) (engraver)
Edward Hasted (1732-1812) (editor)
Fredville in Kent — The Seat of John Plumptre Esq.
from The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent
Canterbury: 1778-99
Color-printed aquatint
14.5 x 15.5 inches, image
17.75 x 23.25 inches overall

Manor house view from Edward Hasted’s major work, an 18th century history of the county of Kent, England, which included 40 engravings of country houses. The estates pictured often have interesting historical anecdotes.

This print features an ancient tree variously known as the Champion Oak or the Majesty Oak, which, when both girth and height are considered, is currently the largest standard oak in the British Isles. It is described below the title: “The Great Oak Measures 32 feet in the smallest girth.” This grand specimen of Quercus robur now has a girth of roughly 12 meters (40 feet). A recent photograph of the tree can be found on The Tree Register of the British Isles web site (see References below).

Product Description Continues Below


The Plumptres were a prominent land-owning family in British history, who had been residents of Nottingham since the reign of Edward I (1239-1307). John Plumptre, Esquire, (1712-91) lived in both Fredville and Nottingham.

Hasted’s 12-volume History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent was a comprehensive account of the region from ancient to the then present, and as the title page states, was “illustrated with maps, views of antiquities, seats of the nobility and gentry, &c.” These included a large folding county map, 35 other maps, 40 engravings of houses and 23 other plates. The British Library has the Godmersham Park view in its collection (among others) and identifies it as coming from Volume XI, Illustrations of Kent (see References below).

John George Wood was a British engraver and publisher based in London. Primarily a watercolorist, he exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1793 to 1811 and also published works on perspective.

William Green was a British painter and engraver who began his career as a surveyor in Manchester. He studied with the prominent painter Landseer and went on to produce mainly aquatints, usually of his own watercolors and drawings. A friend of the poets Wordsworth and Coleridge, he published a series of views of the Lake District and North of England between 1794 and 1822. Green also exhibited at the Royal Academy.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual light toning, wear, soiling soft creases. Few short marginal tears professionally restored.


Graham, Malcolm . “Trees of the Millennium: Outstanding Trees of Herts.” 2000. (16 December 2002).

“Local History Collection.” University of Kent at Canterbury Special Collections. (20 June 2005).

Ian Maxted, “The London book trades 1775-1800: a preliminary checklist of members,” Devon County, U.K: 2001, and (16 December 2002).

“Photo Gallery.” The Tree Register of the British Isles. 28 March 2004. (20 June 2005).

“View of Godmersham Park.” British Library Images Online. (20 June 2005).

Additional information


18th Century