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Table created from 5,000-year-old black oak goes on display at Ely Cathedral



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A 13-metre long table created from a 5,000-year-old fossilised black oak tree, discovered in the fens, is to go on display at Ely Cathedral and will be unveiled by Princess Anne.

The Jubilee Black Oak Table arrives at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Jubilee Black Oak Table arrives at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Keith Heppell

The giant black oak tree was found in a field at Wissington Fen in 2012, the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and will go on display to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee year. For the past 10 years, a team of privately-funded specialist crafts people have created the table.

The Jubilee Black Oak Table arrives at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Jubilee Black Oak Table arrives at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Jubilee Black Oak Table arrives at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Jubilee Black Oak Table arrives at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Keith Heppell

Hamish Low, who led the project, praised the generosity of private donors, local businesses, charitable foundations and trusts. He said: “We are truly grateful to all those who have funded this project.

“In addition to the support that has come from the Building Crafts College in Stratford, London, who not only allowed the use of their workshop facilities but encouraged students from their cabinet making and woodworking courses to get involved.”

The Jubilee Black Oak Table arrives at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Jubilee Black Oak Table arrives at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Jubilee Black Oak Table arrives at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Jubilee Black Oak Table arrives at Ely Cathedral. Picture: Keith Heppell

The initial plan was for the table to be exhibited in Ely Cathedral’s Lady Chapel, but the sheer size means it will be located in the main Cathedral in one of the side aisles. The Jubilee Black Oak Table will be at Ely Cathedral from May 18 until March 2023.

Princess Anne will visit Peterborough and Wisbech as well as unveiling the oak table at Ely Cathedral on May 17. For more information on Ely Cathedral, visit elycathedral.org.

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