A famous tree named for writer Thomas Hardy has toppled.

The Hardy Tree in Old St Pancras Churchyard next to St Pancras Station was well-known for the iconic ring of gravestones that surrounded its trunk.

It is said that they were stacked around the ash by Hardy, author of Tess of the D’Ubervilles, when he was a young architect’s assistant working on the original railway into the station in the 1860s.

Images of the fallen tree were first circulated online on Tuesday (December 27).

Cllr Adam Harrison, cabinet member for a sustainable Camden, said: “We were very sorry to see that the much-loved Hardy Tree has come down and we have already started the discussion with members of the local community about ways to commemorate the tree and its story.

 "Sadly, the Hardy Tree was infected with a fungus in 2014 and since then we've been taking steps to manage its final few years. The tree was disturbed by storms earlier this year, increasing the chance that it would fall.

“Since then, we've reduced the size of the tree's crown so when it fell it was within a fenced area to keep visitors safe.”

Camden Council said that it is looking at ways to celebrate the fallen ash, including harvesting the wood of the Hardy Tree to make a commemorative object, or planting a new tree in its place.