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Princess Anne unveils 5,000 year old oak tree table found near Downham Market at Ely Cathedral for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee



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Volunteers from Downham and Fenland have transformed a 5,000-year-old oak tree into an incredible 50-seater 'table for the nation' - with the Princess Royal attending an unveiling earlier this week.

Princess Anne visited the Ely Cathedral on Tuesday to formally unveil the 13 meter masterpiece.

The black oak table is made of wood the same age as Stonehenge, and is 4,800 years old. It was found by a farmer in Methwold near Downham in 2012 sub-fossilized underneath the farmland.

Some of the team who created an incredible table top from a giant oak tree which grew in Cambridgeshire some 5000 years ago. See SWNS story SWCAoak. A 5,000-year-old black oak tree that has been transformed into a large sculptured table is being unveiled at Ely Cathedral this month (May) in honour of The Queen. The 13-metre table, that is large enough to seat 50 people, will be unveiled at the cathedral on May 17 and has been described as ‘a table for the nation’. The unique Fenland Black Oak Project has seen a team of craftspeople preserve the tree since it was unearthed in the Fen peat of Southery in March 2012 (Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year). The team's vision for the table was for it to sit in Ely Cathedral’s Lady Chapel as its on high grounds surrounded by fields which, very occasionally, still yield buried ancient Black Oaks. (56746353)
Some of the team who created an incredible table top from a giant oak tree which grew in Cambridgeshire some 5000 years ago. See SWNS story SWCAoak. A 5,000-year-old black oak tree that has been transformed into a large sculptured table is being unveiled at Ely Cathedral this month (May) in honour of The Queen. The 13-metre table, that is large enough to seat 50 people, will be unveiled at the cathedral on May 17 and has been described as ‘a table for the nation’. The unique Fenland Black Oak Project has seen a team of craftspeople preserve the tree since it was unearthed in the Fen peat of Southery in March 2012 (Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year). The team's vision for the table was for it to sit in Ely Cathedral’s Lady Chapel as its on high grounds surrounded by fields which, very occasionally, still yield buried ancient Black Oaks. (56746353)

Volunteers, who are part of the Fenland Black Oak Project, took ten years to carve the table, which will now commemorate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee

It is now ready for display at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire to commemorate the 70th year of the Queen's reign.

Weighing six tonnes, the trunk was embedded in a grave of peat where it is believed to have fallen after forest flooding caused it to die and collapse.

The Jubilee Table in Downham Picture credit SWNS (56746345)
The Jubilee Table in Downham Picture credit SWNS (56746345)
The Jubilee Table in Downham Picture credit SWNS (56746356)
The Jubilee Table in Downham Picture credit SWNS (56746356)
Craftsmen work on the 5000 year old giant oak which is being turned into a stunning table. See SWNS story SWCAoak. A 5,000-year-old black oak tree that has been transformed into a large sculptured table is being unveiled at Ely Cathedral this month (May) in honour of The Queen. The 13-metre table, that is large enough to seat 50 people, will be unveiled at the cathedral on May 17 and has been described as ‘a table for the nation’. The unique Fenland Black Oak Project has seen a team of craftspeople preserve the tree since it was unearthed in the Fen peat of Southery in March 2012 (Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year). The team's vision for the table was for it to sit in Ely Cathedral’s Lady Chapel as its on high grounds surrounded by fields which, very occasionally, still yield buried ancient Black Oaks. (56746359)
Craftsmen work on the 5000 year old giant oak which is being turned into a stunning table. See SWNS story SWCAoak. A 5,000-year-old black oak tree that has been transformed into a large sculptured table is being unveiled at Ely Cathedral this month (May) in honour of The Queen. The 13-metre table, that is large enough to seat 50 people, will be unveiled at the cathedral on May 17 and has been described as ‘a table for the nation’. The unique Fenland Black Oak Project has seen a team of craftspeople preserve the tree since it was unearthed in the Fen peat of Southery in March 2012 (Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year). The team's vision for the table was for it to sit in Ely Cathedral’s Lady Chapel as its on high grounds surrounded by fields which, very occasionally, still yield buried ancient Black Oaks. (56746359)

Volunteers winched the oak from the ground and used a giant sawmill to slice it into ten planks.

Each section was then transported into a dehumidifying kiln, which ran for nine months to dry the wood and prevent deterioration.

The drying process, which extracted 397 gallons of water from the wood, reduced the weight of the ten planks by 1.6 tonnes.

The team then expertly joined the planks - each with 3cm thickness - to produce the incredible 13-metre long table, dubbed The Jubilee Oak.

Ely Cathedral has committed to housing the table for 18 months after Princess Anne's visit on Tuesday.

The project, which was organised by Kent-based cabinet maker Hamish Low, was funded by private individuals, charitable foundations and trusts.

Mr Low said :"The table is being dedicated to The Queen in commemoration of her long reign on the throne".



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