The Diamond Jubilee Fenland Black Oak Project
Early in 2012, a unique 5,000 year old sub-fossilized trunk of an ancient giant oak tree was discovered in the Fens of Ely in Cambridgeshire. Such oak is usually referred to as “bog oak” but, having gained permission from Buckingham Palace, we are referring to the project to preserve and utilize this remarkable find as the “Diamond Jubilee Fenland Black Oak Project”.
The Project Team is led by cabinet-maker and bog oak specialist Hamish Low of Adamson and Low, who is supported by the Carpenters’ Company, PR firm Character Communications and the Company’s Building Crafts College. One of the Furniture Makers-in-Residence at the College, Steve Cook, has received a joint Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust/Carpenters’ Company Scholarship as apprentice to Hamish Low. The Project has also received financial support from Rooff Ltd (courtesy of Liveryman Mark Horn) and the Company Surveyors, Daniel Watney.
The massive tree trunk was excavated from farmland on 26th September 2012 and found to be perfectly preserved. It is 13 metres long and weighs more than 4 tonnes. A saw mill was built at the site in order that the trunk could be sawn into planks and then transported to the Building Crafts College in Stratford, East London.
A purpose-built kiln has been built at the College to dry the oak over six months. This will reduce its weight and some of its girth but its unique length will remain both an opportunity and a challenge for the Project Team. A unique 13 metre table will be created as a gift to the nation to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and a suitable destination found for a remarkable piece of English history.
For further information please visit www.thefenlandblackoakproject.org.uk.