‘King of Limbs’, Savernake Forest, Wiltshire.
I visited this ancient pollarded oak tree, on a fairly gloomy day, back in November 2011.
Ancient oak tree, King of Limbs
Hidden away down some muddy forestry tracks it would be tricky to find this tree without a map of the forest (available from the Marlborough library) or a local to guide you. Luckily I had both!
The King of Limbs is so called due to its huge spreading limbs. One of which has sadly broken off and can be seen lying on the ground in front of the tree. It is still a very impressive tree, thought to be around 1000 years old! Back in the day, the tree would have been used as a marker due to its wide spreading branches. Apparently its hollow trunk was at one time burnt out inside but thankfully the tree has recovered.
Radiohead’s most recent album ‘King of Limbs’ is thought to have been named after this tree. They recorded part of a previous album ‘In Rainbows’ at the nearby 18th Century Tottenham House and presumably paid it a visit while out in the woods.
I find it both inspiring and awesome to be in the presence of such an old living thing. I whole heartedly recommend getting out there and discovering an ancient tree close to you. If you do please send me some photo’s so we can share them with other tree huggers on this blog.