Two more churches have been hit by thieves in the latest of a series of break-ins targeting medieval monuments and carvings.
At some time between April 1 and 16,
part of a 700-year-old Robert De Wakering stone effigy was stolen
from the church he founded at Newland, Gloucestershire. Meanwhile,
close by in Castle Frome, near Ledbury in Herefordshire, part of an
effigy was chiselled out between April 29 and May 9.
These incidents follow a March 8-10
break-in at St Peter's Church at Drayford, near Abingdon in
Oxfordshire (reported in ATG No 2035), during which one of six
panels from a medieval reredos was seized.
Sally Badham, honorary president of
the Church Monuments Society, suspects the latest thefts are not
coincidental or opportunist but more likely "deliberately
All Saints Church in Newland was
established by De Wakering in the 13th century, and the 14th
century effigy formed a monument to him. The 2ft 1in (64cm) wide
head section was already detached but lay with the rest of the
effigy until stolen.
At St Michael's Church in Castle Frome
thieves climbed onto a 2ft wide window ledge and used a chisel to
remove part of the frame. The 9in (23cm) high stone carving depicts
a knight holding a heart, indicating a heart burial, and probably
commemorates Adam de Lacy (d.1297).
A police spokesman told ATG that given
the locations and timings they would be looking into any possible
links but nothing definite was known as yet.
If you have information on the
Herefordshire theft call 101 or 0300 333 3000 quoting reference
number 0298N 100512, or for the Gloucestershire theft call 101,
quoting incident 294 of April 26.
• Yeovil police are investigating the
theft of a 19th century Scottish mantel clock valued at around
£3500 which was stolen in a domestic burglary in Stoke-Sub-Hamdon,
Somerset, on May 7.
The hardwood clock has brass handles
at either side, stands approximately 16in (41cm) tall and is
thought to have been made in Glasgow at least 150 years ago. It has
four small round brass feet, one of which is missing, as it was
found at the scene.
Call Yeovil Police Station on 101.
Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. The
crime reference number is 49419/12.
• A fifth arrest has been made in
connection with the theft of 18 mostly Ming and Qing dynasty jade
items worth millions from Cambridge's Fitzwilliam Museum on April
13. The 24-year-old man, from Dartford, was arrested in Kent on
Tuesday, May 22, on suspicion of burglary, and was taken to
Cambridgeshire for questioning.
A 25-year-old London man appeared in
front of Cambridge magistrates on May 21 accused of conspiracy to
commit burglary and theft, and remanded in custody, and was due to
appear at Cambridge Crown Court on May 28. A 15-year-old boy and a
28-year-old man face the same charges. A 31-year-old man has been
arrested and bailed on suspicion of money laundering.