Finding Radiohead's King of Limbs Tree

After hearing that Radiohead were naming their album after a tree in the nearby Savernake Forest, and as an obsessive fan, I had no choice but to find it. It took some work, but eventually I got there. The excellent music site DIY posted my pictures and story on it, but here's a couple of extra Savernake tidbits for you:

  • 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.

That's all I've got off the top of my head, but Savernake is a beautiful forest and I have many happy memories there. It's a beautiful place to visit, but please respect it if you do. 

And if you're really that desperate to find the King of Limbs tree, get in contact and I'll show you the quickest and safest route there - you could become easily lost, and there's little phone signal about. My email is on the contact page.

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