It is impossible not to be excited by the discovery of a tree that has been a witness to pretty well all of England's history. It turns out that the magnificence of Blenheim Palace is dwarfed by an ancient oak tree in its High Park. Planted around 970 AD, this veteran was an acorn when the Saxon King Edgar the Peaceful was on the throne; it stood in Henry I's hunting forest, survived being chopped down for shipbuilding in the Napoleonic Wars, and has been in the care of the Dukes of Marlborough since 1705. At 1,046 years old, it is part of the oldest oak wood in Europe, 60 of its neighbours' date to the Middle Ages. The discovery of its national significance was made by botanist Aljos Farjon, an associate of Kew Gardens, who confirms that “There is no other place in England that has so many ancient oaks in one site”.