The felling of the Sycamore Gap tree caused fragments to come off the wall, Historic England said (Picture: EPA)
It may have survived for 1,900 years as one of the most famous landmarks of Roman Britain, but Hadrian’s Wall has now been left with a permanent reminder of a more recent act of stupidity.
The picturesque sycamore’s main trunk collapsed over the wall that ran directly beside it, after it was chainsawed overnight by an unknown vandal.
Following an assessment by archaeologists, the heritage body has discovered fragments were chipped off when the tree fell, and cracks have also been left in stones.
The new information has now been passed on to police – and may result in a more severe penalty for the culprit or culprits behind the felling.
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.’
A total of four people have been arrested over the felling of the sycamore, which was regarded as an icon of north-east England.
Former lumberjack Walter Renwick, 69, and a 16-year-old boy were arrested soon after the incident before being released.
The latest two men to be questioned, who are both in their thirties, were both released on police bail.
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Cracks have been discovered in the stonework of the 1,900-year-old landmark.