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“It's a tree!”
Review of Cotton Tree

Cotton Tree
Ranked #4 of 24 things to do in Freetown
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Owner description: Freetown, settled by freed American slaves, regards this tree as a lasting landmark of freedom.
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Not much to say really other than it's a rather large cotton tree which is of great significance to the Sierra Leonean people. It's a great focal point in the centre of Freetown and is an impressive size. You can also see fruit bats nesting half way up.

2  Thank swiss_r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"national museum"
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in 14 reviews
"historical landmark"
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"great history"
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"bats"
in 7 reviews
"freedom"
in 5 reviews
"sights"
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"settlers"
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"nova"
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Reviewed 3 January 2014

Though not sure if entirely accurate, our guide informed us that the tree was planted and according to legend, the "Cotton Tree" gained importance in 1792 when a group of former African American slaves, who had gained their freedom by fighting for the British during the American War of Independence, settled the site of modern Freetown. These Black Loyalist settlers, called "Nova Scotians" or "Navitians" in Sierra Leone, founded Freetown on March 11th 1792. According to tradition, they landed on the shoreline and walked up to a giant tree just above the bay and held a thanksgiving service there, gathering around the tree in a large group and praying and singing hymns to thank God for their deliverance to a free land. Its exact age is unknown, but it is known to have existed in 1787. Today, this huge Cotton Tree stands in the oldest part of Freetown near the Supreme Court building and the Sierra Leonians believe that this tree was where the Nova Scotian settlers prayed more than two hundreds years ago, and they regard it as the symbol of their capital city. Sierra Leonians still pray and make offerings to the ancestors for peace and prosperity beneath the great ancestry Cotton Tree. It is definitely a beautiful tree and even more significant when you hear the history of the tree as stated above.

3  Thank Kenneth7228
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2013

This tree holds a strong significance for Sierra Leoneans and Freetonians especially. That said, It is majestic in it's size and location. The city was literally built around it so you can use it as your common landmark for the city centre. The recent facelifts to the little space around it - a miniature fountain - seem to take away nothing from its majesty.

1  Thank Victoria N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2013

The hoardings around the tree are unfortunate - but these do not detract from the significance of this monumental tree. The bats are an unusual feature to find in a busy town centre.
The Memorial Garden and the Museum adjoining together with the Law Courts and State House nearby make this one of the most significant parts of Freetown

2  Thank Oysterman_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 February 2013

the development & banners all around almost makes it look non existent. it is otherwise very beautiful. but the massive & huge look dosen't show.

Thank J_Majethia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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