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Gervase of Tilbury: Barnacle Goose

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Celine Viguier    29 Sep 2008
Hello

I am a student in medieval history at the French University of Provence, studying Gervase of Tilbury and peasants' beliefs.

I discovered such a belief at Faversham, which concerns small trees on the seafront upon which small birds – the barnacle goose – were said to grow. They were eaten in Lent.

Is this medieval belief credible? What are the trees that 'grew' these birds?

Thank you very much.

Celine

Arthur Percival    30 Sep 2008
Celine

Please forgive me for responding to your enquiry of 29 September en anglais.   My French is poor.

Please go to www.faversham.org/upload/docs/NL%202006%2004.pdf where you will find the answer to your question.

As you will see, barnacle geese (English plural of goose) are real birds, but that they 'grew' on trees was a myth.

If I can help further, please let me know.

Arthur Percival (for The Faversham Society)

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