If you’re in London and you love the band T.Rex, then visiting Marc Bolan’s Rock Shrine is a must.
After Marc was killed in a car crash in 1977, fans began to make the pilgrimage to the site of his accident — an old sycamore tree near Queen’s Ride in London, eventually dubbed “The Bolan Tree”. In the early days, fans would hang notes and trinkets from the tree, leaving messages of love for the beloved glam rock star.
Today, the shrine has grown into quite the memorial and is loaded with love for Marc Bolan.
How do I know this?
Because I visited the site on my most recent trip to London, where I played a few T. Rex songs and spent a half-hour paying homage to one of the most influential figures in glam rock history. Seriously, guys, I love Marc Bolan.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- How to get to Marc Bolan’s Rock Shrine
- What to expect at the site
- A ton of gushing over Marc Bolan
Table of Contents
How to Visit Marc Bolan’s Rock Shrine in London, UK
Where is Marc Bolan’s Rock Shrine?
Marc Bolan’s shrine is located at 10 Gipsy Lane in London, United Kingdom. The shrine is in the exact location where Marc crashed his car into a sycamore tree on September 16, 1977.
To get to the shrine, take the train to Barnes Railway Station in the London borough of Richmond Upon Thames (Travelcard Zone 3). Walk along Queen’s Ride (B306) until you get to Gipsy Lane. Then, follow the signs!
Full Address: Opposite United Kingdom, 10 Gipsy Ln, London SW15 5RG
What to Expect at Marc Bolan’s Rock Shrine
Since Marc Bolan’s memorial was first created, it has grown a lot.
Today, you’ll find a bull bust of Marc, a stone plaque, and a bulletin board with a ton of photos, beads, notes, and offerings laid out for him. When I was there, there was even a pink feather boa left behind in grandiose honor. Before you get there, I highly recommend planning out what you’re going to take to the shrine. Whether you choose a photo, glam rock paraphernalia, or a note, leaving something behind makes the whole experience extra special.
I also want to note that, though I visited Marc Bolan’s memorial with two friends, we were the only ones at the shrine during our visit. There were people walking by on hikes, but we mostly had the site to ourselves.
What did I leave at the shrine? Why, a lock of my hair tied to a flower of course! (I did not think ahead on this one.)
About Marc Bolan
Marc Bolan was born Mark Feld in London on September 30th, 1947.
At the age of nine, he started playing the guitar after being inspired by artists such as Bob Dylan and Donovan. In 1967, Bolan joined the protopunk band John’s Children, but the band soon broke up. Soon after, along with the drummer from that band, Tyrannosaurus Rex was born.
A few lineup changes thereafter Tyrannosaurus Rex was shortened to T.Rex and the band released their first single, “Ride a White Swan.” The track sparked the band’s fame when it rose to Number 2 on the British charts, the success of which inspired other artists in the genre, including David Bowie and Roxy Music. Our beloved Glam Rock was born.
Marc Bolan passed away on September 16th, 1977 at the age of 29. After spending an evening at Morton’s Drinking Club and Restaurant in Berkeley square, his partner Gloria Jones lost control of the car and veered off the road. The car hit a fence post and stopped on a sycamore tree.
The site of this tragedy is where the memorial to Bolan now rests.
That’s it for my guide on Marc Bolan’s Rock Shrine in London!
I’m such a huge fan of T. Rex and Marc Bolan, and I love that there is such a beautiful memorial site for this truly inspirational human being.
Let’s geek out over Marc in the comments!