Looking back... King Billy’s tree given the chop

A tree in Whitehouse to which King William III was said to have tethered his horse in 1690 was cut down in early 1961.

The tree had been destroyed following a decision by Newtownabbey Urban Council.

Town surveyor Mr A Fitzsimmons said that the old tree had been removed as it had been in danger of falling.

Several council members pointed out that the tree had been “riddled with woodworm”.

Mr Fitzsimmons indicated that after the tree had been axed, the Ministry of Agriculture had been invited to take slips so that it could be replaced with another “King Billy tree”.

Meanwhile, forestry officials confirmed that the tree had been “well over 200 years old”.