Quercus is a genus of trees, including the oaks and beeches. It also is the name for a sculpture at Lord Montagu’s Beaulieu estate and Britain’s National Motor Museum
“It wasn’t easy,” Lord Montagu said of deciding what to name the sculpture that stands along the Mill Pond Walk at Beaulieu, historic family home and also the site of Britain’s National Motor Museum.
“I went to the green man (the pre-name nickname for the sculpture) and read the list of names to him,” Lord Montagu continued. “He listened attentively, but remained expressionless. He was evidently giving the matter much careful thought.
“I ran through the list again, pointing out some of my favourites: Sir Ligneous, Bloak and Edwood, but it was only when I got to Quirky Quercus that his green hair started waving about and I knew that this was the one.”
Quirky Quercus looks like some character from a fairy tale. It was created by woodcarver Paul Sivell from old oak trees rooted in the grounds of Palace House, and a contest was held to select a name. More than 70 suggestions were submitted by visitors to the grounds.
One of the suggestions was Donald Trunk. But when Lord Montagu offered the sculpture that name, which “I mischievously suggested might be fun, but he fell silent again. I knew what he was thinking: ‘I’ve already been here for a couple of centuries and I’m not finished yet – Presidents come and go every few years.”
The winning name was suggested by Tianna Garland of North Baddesley, Southampton.
“I am fairly local to Beaulieu and have visited many times over the years,” she said. “I saw the picture of the tree and immediately thought how lovely and quirky it was. I realized it was formed from oak and the name just sprang to mind. I think that it is an amazing carving and will use my competition prize of a family pass to bring my daughter’s young family to see it in the Mill Pond setting.”
“The green man sculpture perfectly represents this ancient character from folklore who traditionally tends to new life in the forest, watching over the plants and animals,” the Beaulieu news release explained.
“His painstakingly sculpted face and beard are complimented by the walking stick in his hand, while he supports a wooden squirrel, black and white woodpecker and red-breasted robin.”
Sivell already is at work on another sculpture for the walk, a many-headed serpent made from the branches of another oak.