Further to my post about the unusual shaped leaves of a common Beech; Steve’s mention of different varieties prompted me to look in my copy of Bean’s Trees and Shrubs, in which he describes one called ‘Grandidentata’
I looked on the web and found this illustration of ‘Grandidentata’ which does look very similar to the one in Gorpley Clough. According to Krussman’s book on trees, this variety originated in 1810.
The hooded leaves and cuneate base do suggest it is close to this variety, even though the edges are not quite as wavy. I will have a closer look at the whole tree in Gorpley Clough, which is maybe 170 years old, to see if there is any variation throughout the tree.
If it is a ‘Grandidentata’ it may be one of the earliest planted and largest in the country—by whom I wonder? It maybe growing on land owned by Calderdale Council or Yorkshire Water, I’m not sure where the dividing line is.
The photo below is from the National Botanic Garden in Belgium via Wikimedia. Check it out with my photo beneath this one–do they look similar?