Police are appealing for information after a unique stone artefact was stolen from a church in Hovingham, near Malton.
Some time between 23 May and 6 June 2015, offenders entered All Saints Church in Hovingham and stole a carved stone which was on display in the recess of a window.
The statue, originally part of a stone cross, dates from the late eighth or early ninth century, and is likely to be contemporary with the shrine panel still preserved in the church. It is particularly notable for its ornate and accomplished carving.
The stone itself is a sandstone from the quarries at Aislaby near Whitby, demonstrating the links between the Anglo-Saxon church at Hovingham and Whitby Abbey, which owned the quarries and exported stone for sculptural monuments to sites across North and East Yorkshire.
The piece measures 51cm high, 23.2cm at its widest, and 12.8cm at its deepest. It is very heavy and will have required a vehicle to remove it.
PC Nick Durkin, of Scarborough Police, said: “Experts have described the stolen sculpture as unique in its form, layout and the quality of its carving. We are making extensive enquiries to return this important historic artefact to its rightful location, and I would urge anyone who knows its whereabouts to get in touch straight away.”
Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for PC Nick Durkin or the Scarborough Investigation Hub. You can also email@example.com.
If you would prefer to remain anonymous, information can be passed to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Please quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number 12150097388.
Officers are also urging churches to consider security measures, particularly those in rural areas. Comprehensive church security advice is available in the rural crime pages of the North Yorkshire Police website at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/churchsecurity.
29 June 2015Last modified: September 16, 2016