07 November 2023

Hadrian’s Wall was damaged by felled Sycamore Gap tree, experts say

07 November 2023

Hadrian’s Wall suffered damage when the famous Sycamore Gap tree was felled in an act of vandalism, Historic England has said.

There was an outcry when the tree which stood in a dip in the Northumberland landscape was chainsawed, causing it to fall on the Roman wall, which is a World Heritage Site.

Northumbria Police have arrested a total of four people in connection with the September attack.

Historic England has carried out an assessment and said the wall suffered cracks and some fragments have come off it.

The organisation has passed the information on to the police, whose inquiries continue.

In a tweet, Historic England said: “We’ve carried out an archaeological appraisal of the damage to Hadrian’s Wall and can confirm there are some cracks and fragments broken off from 2 of the facing stones, which we believe have been caused by the felling of the Sycamore tree.”

The body said it was also carrying out analysis to age the felled tree, which has been taken away for safe-keeping while a decision is made on what to do with it.

The 50ft tree was looked after by the Northumberland National Park Authority and the National Trust.

It was among the UK’s most photographed trees and was made famous in a scene in Kevin Costner’s 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.

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