I have always loved the idea of leaving a token of yourself somewhere public, for the world to see for the rest of time. It’s basically like marking your territory by peeing on something, except slightly more permanent. We have written about love locks before, and we have all thrown pennies into fountains to make a wish before, but now I bring to you the magical tradition of coin wishing trees.
The tradition started way back in the day when people were much more superstitious. The idea was that if you or a loved one was ill, you went to a coin wishing tree, hammered a coin into the bark, and made a wish. Coin wishing trees can be found all over Europe, but the most famous ones are as follows:
On Isle Maree in Loch Maree, Ireland there is a famous oak wish tree that was written about by Queen Victoria in her diaries. The tree is also situated near the healing well of St. Maree. This leads me to believe that there were a lot of sick people on Isle Maree back in the day.
In Mountrath, County Laois, Ireland, there is a sycamore wish tree called St. Fintan’s Well. Pennies were beaten into this tree as good luck offerings.
The High Force waterfall in Durham, England is one of the highest waterfalls in the UK. There is a pretty famous wish tree at the base of the falls.
If it was the 1700’s and I was going to hammer a coin into a tree I would probably wish for something sensible, like deodorant or modern medicine, but to each his own. If you find yourself traipsing around the European countryside, it might be worth it to track one of these trees down, and leave your own little mark on it.via ]