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Vandals graffiti ruins of historic church

PUBLISHED: 12:04 15 May 2018 | UPDATED: 21:10 15 May 2018

Graffiti on historic ruins in Tivetshall St Mary. Police are appealing for information. Picture: NORFOLK POLICE

Graffiti on historic ruins in Tivetshall St Mary. Police are appealing for information. Picture: NORFOLK POLICE

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The historical ruins of a grade II listed church have been vandalised.

Tivetshall St Mary church ruins. Photo: Angela Sharpe.Tivetshall St Mary church ruins. Photo: Angela Sharpe.

Villagers have expressed their shock after the historical ruins of a grade II listed church were vandalised.

The walls of St Mary’s Church in Tivetshall St Mary, near Long Stratton, were graffitied with profanities and initials, as well as a smiley face. One individual carved their initials into the stonework.

It is thought the incident happened between Friday, April 27 and Thursday, May 10.

Rita Land, chairman of the Tivetshall St Mary parish council said: “We’re very upset. Obviously we don’t know who it is but there’s some profanities and people’s initials.

Tivetshall St Mary church ruins. Photo: Angela Sharpe.Tivetshall St Mary church ruins. Photo: Angela Sharpe.

“It’s a big thing in the village. We’ve got the First World War centenary coming up and we have now got to try to clear it off.”

Since the incident, alongside a case of a stolen charity box, a police spokesman has said patrols will be increased in the area.

The vandalism was discovered by a village resident, who posted on the Tivetshall Families & Friends Facebook page warning parents not to take their children into the site.

Mrs Land, 67, said: “As a parish council we’re going to do all we can to help the trustees of St Mary’s.

Graffiti on historic ruins in Tivetshall St Mary. Police are appealing for information. Picture: NORFOLK POLICEGraffiti on historic ruins in Tivetshall St Mary. Police are appealing for information. Picture: NORFOLK POLICE

“It holds an awful lot of historical value to us. What’s happened is very distasteful.”

The church became a ruin in the 1940s and was listed for its special historic interest by Historic England in 1959.

The building was mostly built in the 14th century, with some sections thought to be earlier.

Dudley Adshead, a 47-year-old software engineer from Tivetshall St Mary, said: “Most of the people in the village at some point go through there because it’s the feature spot of the village really.

“It’s a shame. I guess at some point the village will try and organise a clean up team. I’m sure there are some chemicals that can get the graffiti off - the carving on the other hand might be more difficult.

“It’s a really beautiful spot. There’s a lot of grave stones and one or two still get visited.

“The ruins themselves are lovely. People drive past and end up stopping to have a look.

“I suppose the thing now is to prevent this from happening again.”

Police would like to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the incident or noticed anything suspicious in the area at the time.

Anyone with information should contact PC Simon Redhead at Harleston Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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