Search

‘Disbelief’ as 18th century gravestone stolen from Norfolk churchyard

PUBLISHED: 09:30 20 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:36 20 March 2018

The grey, granite headstone was stolen from St Mary the Virgin and St Botolph Church in Hevingham at some point last week. Photo is of a different graveyard. 
Picture: Nick Butcher

The grey, granite headstone was stolen from St Mary the Virgin and St Botolph Church in Hevingham at some point last week. Photo is of a different graveyard. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

A vicar has expressed her sadness at the theft of an 18th century gravestone from a Norfolk churchyard.

Photos of the burial plot now show a faint outline in the snow where the headstone was once placed. Photo: Margaret McPhee. Photos of the burial plot now show a faint outline in the snow where the headstone was once placed. Photo: Margaret McPhee.

The grey, granite headstone was stolen from St Mary the Virgin and St Botolph Church in Hevingham at some point last week.

It comes after the same church was targeted by lead thieves in 2016, causing £30,000 worth of damage.

The Revd Margaret McPhee, rector of the Horsford benefice, said a church warden spotted the gravestone had gone missing on Thursday.

“My reaction was disbelief at first, and then sadness” she said. “It could be that someone likes to have that sort of thing in their garden or as a trophy. Or it could have been stolen to order.

“But it shows no regard to the historical value of the stone or to the person buried there.”

The gravestone marks one of around 300 burial plots at the church, which is located within the Broadland district.

It had been laid on the ground over the plot due to it being structurally unsafe, Mrs McPhee said.

“We have no evidence as to who has done it,” she added. “Although someone did witness a white van going into the churchyard on Thursday morning.”

Police said they were aware of the incident and are now appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

The gravestone is rectangular in shape, with an arch at the top, and was located near the front porch of the church prior to its theft.

Photos of the burial plot now show a faint outline in the snow where the headstone was once placed.

Mrs McPhee said she did not have the details of who was buried there, but added that in the coming days she will go through the church records to find out more.

A police spokesman said: “Anyone with information or who may have seen anything suspicious is asked to contact Aylsham Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”

Back in June 2016, the church had a large amount of lead stripped form its roof and porch by criminals.

Almost two years later and Mrs McPhee said the church was now “almost there” with funding for a new roof.

“We don’t want anything else to happen now,” she said.

Are you suffering from crime in your area? Email luke.powell@archant.co.uk

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other popular content

Yesterday, 16:26

A north Norfolk heritage railway has added a sixth locomotive to its collection of steam and diesel engines.

16:26

Crews are tackling three separate fires in Sheringham on the north Norfolk coast.

10:46

A North Walsham resident has called vandals that destroyed a park bench “pathetic” and “inadequate”.

From the town’s famous crabs, to fresh seafood, fish and chips on the beach, and ice creams on the pier, Cromer is well known for its array of seaside foods.

Most Read

Yesterday, 16:26

A north Norfolk heritage railway has added a sixth locomotive to its collection of steam and diesel engines.

Read more
16:26

Crews are tackling three separate fires in Sheringham on the north Norfolk coast.

Read more
Rescue Service
10:46

A North Walsham resident has called vandals that destroyed a park bench “pathetic” and “inadequate”.

Read more
North Walsham

From the town’s famous crabs, to fresh seafood, fish and chips on the beach, and ice creams on the pier, Cromer is well known for its array of seaside foods.

Read more
BBC

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 14°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Norfolk News e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

North Norfolk News weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy