Volunteers have transformed a 5,000-year-old oak tree into an incredible 50-seater ‘table for the nation’ – with an unveiling planned for Queen’s jubilee.
The 13-metre table – made of wood the same age as Stonehenge – has been completed after ten years of hard work.
It is now ready for display at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
A farmer found the sub-fossilised oak tree – later found to be 4,800 years old – while ploughing a field in the Fenlands in 2012.
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.
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 when it goes on display on Tuesday (May 17).
The project, which was organised by Kent-based cabinet maker Hamish Low, was funded by private individuals, charitable foundations and trusts
Hamish said the table “is being dedicated to The Queen in commemoration of her long reign on the throne”.