Explainer

What is Sycamore Gap? A brief history of the famous Robin Hood tree found felled

The tree, thought to be one of the most photographed in the country, was found to have been felled on 28 September 2023. Credit: PA

Sycamore Gap, a site along Hadrian's Wall in rural Northumberland, is where a single sycamore tree once stood in a dip between the hills.

But on Thursday 28 September, the world-famous 'Robin Hood tree' - believed to be one of the most photographed in the British Isles - was found felled.

Northumbria Police have confirmed they are investigating.

The tree itself is believed to have dated back to medieval times. Credit: PA

The tree's history

The tree itself is believed to have dated back to medieval times. It was excavated on two occasions - between 1908 and 1911 and again between 1982 and 1987 where Roman remains linked to Hadrian's wall were found.

On the big screen

In 1991, Sycamore Gap provided a setting for the film 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves', which starred Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman and Alan Rickman.

Sycamore Gap provided a setting for the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1991. Credit: PA

Memory making & award winning

Over the years, it's become a popular hotspot for proposals, stargazers and walkers alike.

In 2016, it was named English Tree of the Year in the Woodland Trust’s awards, and the site has formed part of the designated UNESCO World Heritage Site at Hadrian's Wall since it was designated in 1987.


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