The celebrated botanist Mark Catesby is believed to have planted a rare tulip tree in Castle Hedingham.

The tree, Liriodendron tulipifera, which is in the private grounds of Hedingham Castle dates since the 1700s and is one of the oldest specimens in the country with one of similar age growing at Kew Gardens.

It originated in America where it was widely logged and often hollowed out to be used as canoes by the native Americans of the Appalachian Mountains in the north but is now considered extremely rare.

Catesby was born in 1682 and baptised in Castle Hedingham and his uncle Nicholas Jekyll kept a botanical garden in the village.

See this week's Halstead Gazette for the full story.