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Hadrian's Wall was damaged when iconic Sycamore Gap tree was felled, experts say
7 November 2023, 16:06
Hadrian’s Wall suffered irreparable damage when the famous Sycamore Gap tree was felled in an act of vandalism in September, Historic England has said.
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The iconic tree, which stood in a dip between two hills, providing a picturesque image for hikers in Northumberland, was cut down on September 28 - resulting in a national outcry at the harmful destruction.
But now experts say the chainsawing of the tree caused extensive damage to the Roman Wall too.
Historic England had carried out an archaeological appraisal of the World Heritage Site and evaluated a series of cracks and fragments that had broken off from the structure.
The public body, which is sponsored by the UK Government, said they had passed on the information gathered to the police, who are investigating the incident.
Four people were subsequently arrested in connection to the act of vandalism by Northumbria Police.
Sycamore Gap update 🌳— Historic England (@HistoricEngland) November 7, 2023
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. 🧵 1/ pic.twitter.com/7QHTLHsYxQ
Posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, Historic England wrote: “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 they would be working with the National Trust to make repairs to the damaged site.
“We have also arranged to carry out scientific analysis of the felled tree to help provide a firm age for it,” Historic England added in their statement.
The tree became famed for its iconic image between the two hills, even featuring in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.