Sycamore Gap Tree

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Sycamore Gap Tree
Sycamore Gap, The Tree.jpg
View of the tree from the south. Hadrian's Wall is visible to the left of and beyond the tree. The stone structure in the centre is not associated with the tree or the wall.
SpeciesSycamore ( Acer pseudoplatanus )
LocationNear Crag Lough, Northumberland
Coordinates 55°00′13″N2°22′26″W / 55.00356°N 2.37387°W / 55.00356; -2.37387 Coordinates: 55°00′13″N2°22′26″W / 55.00356°N 2.37387°W / 55.00356; -2.37387
Date seededcirca 1700
CustodianNational Trust

The Sycamore Gap Tree or Robin Hood Tree is a sycamore tree standing next to Hadrian's Wall near Crag Lough in Northumberland, England. It is located in a dramatic dip in the landscape and is a popular photographic subject, described as one of the most photographed trees in the country. It derives its alternative name from featuring in a prominent scene in the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves . The tree won the 2016 England Tree of the Year award.

<i>Acer pseudoplatanus</i> species of plant

Acer pseudoplatanus, known as the sycamore in the United Kingdom and the sycamore maple in the United States, is a flowering plant species in the soapberry and lychee family Sapindaceae. It is a large deciduous, broad-leaved tree, tolerant of wind and coastal exposure. It is native to Central Europe and Western Asia, from France eastwards to Ukraine, northern Turkey and the Caucasus and southwards in the mountains of northern Spain and Italy.

Hadrians Wall defensive fortification in Roman Britain

Hadrian's Wall, also called the Roman Wall, Picts' Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, was a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, begun in AD 122 in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. It ran from the banks of the River Tyne near the North Sea to the Solway Firth on the Irish Sea, and was the northern limit of the Roman Empire, immediately north of which were the lands of the northern Ancient Britons, including the Picts.

Crag Lough lake in the United Kingdom

Crag Lough is an inland lake at the southern edge of Northumberland National Park, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) north of Bardon Mill, and 0.5 miles (0.8 km) north of the B6318 Military Road in Northumberland, northern England. At this point Hadrian's Wall is at the top of a line of crags with Crag Lough at the foot of the crags.



The Sycamore Gap Tree is by Hadrian's Wall, between Milecastle 39 and Crag Lough, about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) west of Housesteads Roman Fort in Northumberland, Northern England. [1] This section of the wall follows the edge of a cliff an outcrop of the Whin Sill  and several sharp dips in it caused by melting glacial waters. [2] The tree stands within one of these dips with the cliff and wall rising dramatically either side of it. [1] The wall and adjacent land, including the site of the tree, are owned by the National Trust. [1] A popular tourist attraction, the tree is described as one of the most photographed in the country and the location may be the most photographed point in all of Northumberland National Park. [3] [4] [5] It is visible from the nearby B6318 Military Road. [1] The name "Sycamore Gap" was coined by a National Trust employee when the Ordnance Survey were remapping the area and asked if the previously unnamed spot had a designation. [6]

Milecastle 39

Milecastle 39 is a milecastle on Hadrian's Wall.

Housesteads Roman Fort human settlement in United Kingdom

Housesteads Roman Fort is the remains of an auxiliary fort on Hadrian's Wall. Its ruins are at Housesteads in the civil parish of Bardon Mill in Northumberland, England, south of Broomlee Lough. The fort was built in stone around AD 124, soon after the construction of the wall began in AD 122 when the area was part of the Roman province of Britannia. Its name has been variously given as Vercovicium, Borcovicus, Borcovicium, and Velurtion. The name of the 18th-century farmhouse of Housesteads gives the modern name. The site is owned by the National Trust and is in the care of English Heritage. Finds can be seen in the site museum, in the museum at Chesters, and in the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Northumberland County of England

Northumberland is a county in North East England. The northernmost county of England, it borders Cumbria to the west, County Durham and Tyne and Wear to the south and the Scottish Borders to the north. To the east is the North Sea coastline with a 64 miles (103 km) path. The county town is Alnwick, although the County council is based in Morpeth.


View looking west from the north side of the wall Sycamore Gap 2007.jpg
View looking west from the north side of the wall

The tree is a sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) and is a few hundred years old. [5] It once stood alongside others but they have been removed over time for unknown reasons, possibly to improve sightlines or for gamekeeping purposes. [6] The tree featured in a key scene of the 1991 Kevin Costner film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and has subsequently become known as the "Robin Hood Tree". [4] [5] It appeared in the music video for Bryan Adams' (Everything I Do) I Do It for You which featured on the film's soundtrack; the video was shown often on the British TV series Top of the Pops . [1] It has also appeared in the TV crime drama Vera and in the documentary series More Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green . [6] It narrowly escaped damage in 2003 when a helicopter carrying TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh crashed metres away. [1]

Kevin Costner American actor, singer, musician, producer, director, and businessman

Kevin Michael Costner is an American actor, director, producer, and musician. His accolades include two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, one Primetime Emmy Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

<i>Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves</i> 1991 film by Kevin Reynolds

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is a 1991 American romantic action adventure film, based on the English folk tale of Robin Hood which originated in the 15th century. The film is directed by Kevin Reynolds, and stars Kevin Costner as Robin Hood, Morgan Freeman as Azeem, Christian Slater as Will Scarlett, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Marian, and Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham. The screenplay was penned by Pen Densham and John Watson.

Bryan Adams Canadian singer-songwriter

Bryan Guy Adams is a Canadian singer, songwriter, record producer, guitarist, photographer, philanthropist and activist.

In 2016, the tree was nominated for England's Tree of the Year competition. [4] It was selected from 200 competitors for the final shortlist of 10 and won the competition with 2,542 votes out of 11,913. [2] The prize was a £1000 grant which was used to survey the health of the tree and to carry out work to protect its roots, which were becoming exposed due to the high volume of foot traffic passing over them. [1] The Sycamore Gap Tree was entered in the 2017 European Tree of the Year awards in which it came 5th out of 16, polling 7,123 votes. [1] [5]

Tree of the Year (United Kingdom)

The Tree of the Year competition is held in the United Kingdom in Autumn each year by the Woodland Trust, a nationwide conservation charity. Nominated trees are shortlisted by a panel of experts before going to public votes to select a tree of the year for each of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom. The panel then selects one of these to become the British tree of the year and be nominated for the following year's European Tree of the Year. The competition has been run each year since 2014.

European Tree of the Year

The European Tree of the Year is an annual contest held to find the most 'loveable tree' in Europe.

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Northumberland National Park national park

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Hadrians Wall Path long distance footpath in the north of England

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Gap of Dunloe Mountain pass in Kerry, Ireland

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Magnae Carvetiorum Roman fort (castrum) on Hadrians Wall in northern Britain

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Broomlee Lough lake in the United Kingdom

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Famous Hadrian's Wall tree wins national competition". Carisle News and Star. 31 December 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  2. 1 2 "Sycamore Gap on Hadrian's Wall is 'Tree of the Year'". ITV News. 18 December 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  3. Harley, Nicola (17 December 2016). "Robin Hood tree wins coveted Tree of the Year crown". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 Henderson, Tony (16 February 2018). "Is Sycamore Gap the most photographed tree in the UK?". Newcastle Evening Chronicle. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "The Sycamore Gap Tree". European Tree of the Year. Environmental Partnership Association. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  6. 1 2 3 "Read about Sycamore Gap". National Trust. Retrieved 11 July 2018.