Page last updated at 15:59 GMT, Sunday, 18 May 2008 16:59 UK

Milton's Mulberry makes a move

Milton's mulberry tree
The mulberry tree has stood for 400 years in Christ College's garden

The Hay Literary Festival is set to gain a piece of one of literature's greatest inspirations when it plants a sapling from Milton's Mulberry tree.

Cambridge University has sent a sapling from the tree that shaded the poet John Milton to be planted near the mid-Wales town which hosts the festival.

The original tree was planted in 1608 and legend goes that the poet and author spent hours writing beneath it.

The sapling will be planted in Drover's Wood, close to the Hay Festival site.

The donation of a sapling from one of Britain's best-known ancient trees is meant to mark the 400th anniversary of the birth of the famed author of Paradise Lost.

Its appearance at the 21st Hay Festival, which runs from 22 May - 1 June at Hay-on-Wye in Powys, will coincide with a lecture by Milton biographer Anna Beer.

The original tree stands in Fellow's Garden at Christ's College and still produces a good crop of fruit most years, which the college turns into mulberry jam.

The potted sapling will be kept in the care of the Woodland Trust over the summer before being planted in the autumn.




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