The Magic of Coin-Trees from Religion to Recreation: The Roots of a Ritual

The Magic of Coin-Trees from Religion to Recreation: The Roots of a Ritual

by Ceri Houlbrook

Paperback(Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2018)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, March 5
1 New & Used Starting at $96.37


This book traces the history of ritual landscapes in the British Isles, and the transition from religious practice to recreation, by focusing on a highly understudied exemplar: the coin-tree. These are trees imbued with magical properties into which coins have been ritually embedded. This is a contemporary custom which can be traced back in the literature to the 1700s, when it was practiced for folk-medical and dedicatory purposes. Today, the custom is widespread, with over 200 coin-trees distributed across the British Isles, but is more akin to the casual deposition of coins in a wishing-well: coins are deposited in the tree in exchange for wishes, good luck, or future fortune. Ceri Houlbrook contributes to the debate on the historic relationships between religion, ritual, and popular magic in British contexts from 1700 to the present.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783030092528
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
Publication date: 01/03/2019
Series: Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic
Edition description: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2018
Pages: 307
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.03(d)

About the Author

Ceri Houlbrook is Early Career Researcher of History and Folklore at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, and the co-editor of The Materiality of Magic: An Artefactual Investigation into Ritual Practices and Popular Beliefs and Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction: Coining the Coin Tree.- Chapter 2. Roots of a Ritual.- Chapter 3. The Democratization of the Landscape.- Chapter 4. Contemporary Engagement.- Chapter 5. The Mutability of Meaning.- Chapter 6. Manipulating Meaning.- Chapter 7. Green Monuments and their Heritage.- Chapter 8. Concluding Thoughts.- Index

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews