The Great Yew of Ormiston stands in what once were the grounds of Ormiston Hall, built in the mid – eighteenth century two miles south of Ormiston for John Cockburn. It is said that in the mid- sixteenth century John Knox may have preached under this yew, which he would have been aware of by previously being a tutor to a child of the master of the house. It was here in 1545 that Knox’s close companion in the Scottish Reformation, George Wishart, was captured. At that time, around five hundred years ago, this yew was a well-known local landmark. Hence it is thought that today this huge, layered yew tree with a magnificent, fluted trunk of 592 cm girth at 100cm high (SYTHI 2017) could well be around a thousand years old. However, there are two other major yew stems to the west and east of the main trunk which also constitute the overall canopy spread and it is not known whether there they are layering, i.e. what we see is all one yew, or are younger seedlings with different DNA and only testing could resolve that question. Usually this yew is described as female but that is not quite so as one of 22 stems found layering from the main trunk is male.