Fans of the seriesGame of Thrones will shed a tear today for the loss of one of the trees that form the picturesque Dark Hedges, also known as “the Kingsroad.”
The Dark Hedges are a incredible beech tree tunnel on Bregagh Road in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, that have become popular with tourists since being used as a filming location for Game of Thrones. 60 mph winds felled the tree on Saturday, though several of the other trees had been damaged in previous storms.
Originally, the trees were planted by the Stuart family along the entrance to their Gracehill House mansion back in 1775. Through the centuries, the branches began to bend over the road, eventually intertwining with one another, creating a surreal covered passageway.
There were 150 trees at first, but due to time and weather, that number stands at about 90. The Woodland Trust’s Paddy Cregg told BBC News that by beech tree standards, the remaining trees are “old aged pensioners.” He also explained that, “They are coming to the end of their life, normally beech trees survive around 250 years, they are probably now 240 years old.”
Fans of the TV fantasy drama better make their way to beautiful Northern Ireland soon if they want to be able to witness this spectacular, but ephemeral, natural phenomenon.