A Grade I listed gate, which forms part of Salisbury Cathedral has been badly damaged following a car crash involving an alleged drink driver.
It is thought Harnham Gate was hit by a van at around 2am on Saturday.
Cathedral officials are concerned the repairs could prove costly and take months to complete.
The wooden gates are believed to be around 80 years old and the stone work surrounding them dates back to the 14th century.
Expressing his disappointment, the Cathedral's clerk of works, Gary Price said: "The gates and the stone work are very old and it will take a lot of work to fix them.
"When I first heard about the gate I thought that someone had maybe just knocked into them.
"But when I got there and saw for myself I was shocked - I wasn't expecting to the see the carnage that I did and the gates hanging off their hinges.
"It looked as if a herd of elephants had come crashing through them."
Wiltshire Police said that a man, 51, has been arrested on suspicion of failing to stop, criminal damage and driving with excess alcohol, and has been released on bail pending further inquiries.
Police are asking anyone with information to call 101 or to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference
In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.
Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.
For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.
Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.