Arch held 25 tonnes of pigeon poo
Around 25 tonnes of pigeon droppings have been removed from a historic monument for fear they could cause structural damage.
The mushy mess, which was almost 3ft deep, was discovered inside the towers of the Landgate Arch in Rye, East Sussex, according to CountyClean Environmental Services.
Had it not been removed, it would have continued to build up and the acidic substance could have caused damage to the stonework, a company spokesman said.
Mike Walker, managing director, said: "Whilst we've removed other massive blockages such as giant fatbergs in sewers, we have never seen such a monumental mass of festering faeces before.
"The build up of pigeon poo behind the doors was so big we had to force them open. Once inside, it was like walking on a giant chocolate cake and the smell was awful - even through a facemask.
"The floors of the towers and the steps leading to the top were swamped with 25 tonnes of pigeon poo. We filled our tanker several times over."
There is no public access to the towers and the build-up of bird droppings happened behind locked doors.
Rother District Council, which owns the ancient monument dating back to 1340, discovered the problem and arranged for the specialist contractor to clean up the mess using a custom-built combination tanker.
The tanker provides high pressure jetting and can simultaneously suck up the waste and water, a company spokesman said.