The Hirsel is a Category A listed building and has been the seat of the Earls of Hume since 1611. The house dates mainly from the early 18th century with a portion dating to around 100 years earlier and alterations and additions were carried out in 1851. On one of the terraces from the house leading to the river, an enormous yew tree was noted in the past but it has yet to be confirmed as still being there as this part of The Hirsel estate is strictly private.
Near to where the laundry facilities used to be is a grove of yews between 200 – 300 cm in girth and elsewhere are other plantings of similar size girths implying ages of between 200 – 300 years. Near the old stables is a yew of 375 cm girth suggesting it could have been planted in the 17th century possibly to commemorate The Hirsel becoming the seat of the Earls of Hume.
However, the most impressive sight of yews at The Hirsel is a grove which has been left to grow apart from pruning the perimeter. Consequently there is a huge canopy of growth which makes access to the interior impossible without cutting an entrance through it and meaning girths measurements cannot be taken.