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50ft tree crashes into Dereham cemetery chapel during storm

A 50ft tree crashed into the Victorian chapel in Dereham Cemetery after being felled by the storm of February 14, 2014

A 50ft tree crashed into the Victorian chapel in Dereham Cemetery after being felled by the storm of February 14, 2014

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A 50ft tree crashed into a historic chapel in Dereham cemetery after being felled by the weekend’s storms.

The damage to the 150-year-old Victorian building was reported on Saturday morning after the mature cypress toppled over in the fierce winds, revealing a rotted root structure which was not visible during recent inspections.

A tree surgeon was called to make the scene safe until lifting equipment could be brought in to lift the cypress tree away from the chapel, to reduce the risk of more damage as the tree fell away from the building.

Town clerk Tony Needham said a surveyor would be on site this week to assess the damage to the chapel’s coping stones.

“The cost will probably run into thousands,” he said. “It may need more lifting equipment and it will certainly need scaffolding, as some of the stones are quite heavy.

“It was the only tree to fall in the cemetery and it was surprise. We cut the trees regularly but this one had not shown any signs that the roots underground rotted away.”

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