The Real King Of Limbs


  • Tom has found the tree and he took a couple of photos.  On his blog he promised to show the path to the tree to everybody who is interested. He also posted a couple of tidbits:
  • Oak trees only become this old because of the cutting technique called pollarding, which is where the tree is cut at a certain height for wood and allowed to re-grow, while the stump gets fatter and fatter.
  • The name ‘King of Limbs’ can’t be as old as the tree, because it was pollarded until the late 1800s, according to a forest warden I spoke to yesterday. And thus, without the large limbs of branches, no-one will have named it this way until it actually had limbs.
  • The forest warden I spoke to, and some locals, are very concerned about Radiohead fans damaging the forest while looking for the tree, possibly lighting camp fires or stealing bits of wood from the tree itself. Probably worth reminding readers that the forest is private – this is like walking through someone’s garden, albeit a large one.
  • The tree is a traditional village boundary, though I can’t say which boundary without giving away the location. Large tree stumps were used as boundaries because they can’t be picked up and moved on like a signpost could.
  • Pete Doherty lived nearby on the edge of Savernake for a few years. He’s supposedly moved away but last time the gates were open, I noticed his cars were still there.
  • The roof of the stables at Tottenham House, where some of In Rainbows was recorded (and possibly some of King of Limbs?) has recently had all the lead stolen, presumably causing torrential leaks.

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