Sycamore Gap chopped down: How the iconic tree featured in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

29 September 2023, 14:47

Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves movie trailer

By Mayer Nissim

The Sycamore Gap wasn't just a tree of natural and historical importance, it was a movie icon.

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Nature lovers and students of English history alike were shocked to discover this week that the Sycamore Gap tree in Northumberland had been chopped down.

The tree was situated in a dip along Hadrian's Wall, being naturally framed by hills on either side, making it a stunning sight for locals and visitors alike.

Rangers discovered that the tree had been felled overnight on September 27 with a chainsaw, and Northumbria Police arrested a 16-year-old on suspicion of causing criminal damage.

The unnamed suspect has since been released on bail.

As well as being a well-known site of natural beauty, the tree was memorably used in a key scene of hit 1991 movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, where Kevin Costner's Robin Hood is walking with Azeem, played by Morgan Freeman.

Robin Hood - 1991 - Hadrian's wall & Sycamore gap

The Sycamore Gap tree was situated between Milecastle 39 and Crag Lough, on land owned by the National Trust.

National Trust General Manager Andrew Poad said: "We are deeply shocked at what appears to be an act of vandalism.

The tree has been an important and iconic feature in the landscape for nearly 200 years and means a lot to the local community and to anyone who has visited the site."