Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland is about more than just a tree next to a wall. To some it may seem oddly familiar, others may view it as just another tree, yet this is part of the wall that has taken on a fame of its own.
We first see it in the film Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman.
The starving boy is chased by the Sheriff’s men and ends up climbing the tree, only to have Robin Hood intervene on his behalf, defeating Guy of Gisbourne and his men.
It is also the title of the second book of the DCI Ryan series by LJ Ross.
An early morning hiker spots something glittering in the morning sunlight from inside the wall itself. He breaks all the rules and removes some of the stones only to find human remains. Were they from the era when the wall was built by the Romans, or more recent?
Click on the picture of the book cover to order your copy and find out DCI Ryan solves the case.
A Personal View
For me, it will always be known as ‘that tree just over the next hill’.
A friend was desperate to take a photograph of the Sycamore Gap and we parked in the car park at Steel Rigg to the west.
So having dipped down once heading east from Steel Rigg, I asked him how far away the tree was. “Oh, it’s just over the next hill” was his reply.
When I got this reply for a third time at a third hill I realised it was time to stop asking, quicken the pace and get down off the wall area as quickly as possible.
It was due to the trip that day that Sycamore Gap, will always be known to me as ‘that tree over the next hill’.