the only use it knows for solitude is to make it a punishment,
a jail sentence
Dame Judi Dench is a champion of this tree. Dench visited it along with forester Tony Kirkham as part of a BBC documentary (link here) on the importance of trees to life and to living. The ancient Yew of Crowhurst, England is thought to be 4,000 years old, possibly making it the oldest yew tree in the country. The trunk is hollow with a wooden door installed sometime after 1820 to create a small prison cell. The tree may have played a role in Druid ceremonies on its elevated site well before the arrival of the Christian church to the area around 770 AD. Being in the presence of an ancient, living entity as old as this re-frames our perception of time and place in a way that is difficult to describe. There is a calm stillness under its boughs that is an antidote to a frantic, massively changing world.
The quote is by Søren Kierkegaard