London CNN  — 

A famous tree that has stood sentinel on Britain’s Roman-built Hadrian’s Wall for more than 200 years has been “deliberately felled” in what authorities have called an “act of vandalism.”

The sycamore tree, located in the Northumberland National Park in northern England, was made famous to millions around the world when it appeared in Kevin Costner’s 1991 blockbuster film “Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.”

Police said they have arrested a 16-year-old boy and a man in his sixties following the incident, which was believed to have taken place overnight Thursday.

The tree - at a spot known as “Sycamore Gap” – was located on the historic UNESCO World Heritage listed Hadrian’s Wall, which was constructed around 1,900 years ago to guard the furthest northwestern frontier of the Roman Empire.

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The tree before it was felled.

Sycamore Gap was considered one of the most photographed trees in England and was voted as English Tree of the Year in 2016.

The National Trust heritage charity – which co-manages the site – said it was “shocked and saddened” by the tree’s felling.

Andrew Poad, north east general manager at the National Trust, said: “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.”

Northumberland National Park Authority said it was now “working with the relevant agencies and partners with an interest in this iconic North East landmark.”

The National Park urged visitors to stay away while the site was being made safe.

Police, who earlier said they were investigating what was believed to be a “deliberate act of vandalism,” said a 16-year old youth had been arrested in connection with the incident.

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The sycamore tree, seen here in 2021, was a striking presence on the wild landscape around Hadrian's Wall.

He remains in police custody at this time and is assisting officers with their enquiries,” Northumbria Police posted on X, adding that the “investigation is still at very early stage.”

The man in his sixties was arrested subsequently. “We hope this second arrest demonstrates just how seriously we’re taking this situation and our ongoing commitment to find those responsible and bring them to justice,” the police stated on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Prior to the arrests, the police force described the tree as a “world-renowned landmark.”

“The vandalism has caused understandable shock and anger throughout the local community and beyond,” a statement from Northumbria Police said.

Police Superintendent Kevin Waring added: “This is an incredibly sad day. The tree was iconic to the North East and enjoyed by so many who live in or who have visited this region.”

“Anyone found to have been responsible for this damage – which we believe to be a deliberate act of vandalism – can expect to be dealt with swiftly and appropriately.”