Cowper's Oak. Yardley Chase, Northamptonshire. 1906
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of an old oak tree, known as the Yardley Oak, in Yardley Chase Park, Northamptonshire, taken by Sir John Benjamin Stone (1838-1914), in 1906. This massive tree was the subject of a poem by William Cowper (1731-1800) entitled 'Yardley Oak' (1791). Sir John Benjamin Stone was the founder and chief photographer of the National Photographic Record Association. Founded in 1897, the NPR was established to create a photographic record of historically important events, people and places. By the time of Stone's death, the NPR contained over 6,000 photographs. Following his election as Member of Parliament for Birmingham East, Stone also undertook a photographic survey of the Palace of Westminster and took portraits of his fellow MPs.