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HISTORIC STONES STOLEN FROM VILLAGE CHURCHYARD DURING RESTORATION WORKS

Photo: WhitwellHistory.co.uk

Residents in Whitwell are appealing for information after historic stones were taken from the churchyard sometime on Monday morning. 

St Mary and St Rhadegund Church in the heart of the South Wight village is currently undergoing restoration work after receiving a grant from the National Lottery last year.

The grant of £199,000 is to aid the essential repair of the roof, stonework and stained glass of the Medieval Parish Church, which has so far progressed well.

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Unfortunately, a number of Island-quarried stones, which were put aside by the builders carrying out the work, were taken without permission by unknown individuals.

A spokesperson for the Whitwell Village Facebook page has said police are aware of the incident, although there is little they can do.

They wrote on their Facebook page:

“Sad to report but we have had a theft at the church.

“You may all have seen that there has been some extensive works undertaken on the masonry at the church.

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“A quantity of Island Green Stone, which is not quarried anymore but highly sort after, has been stolen from near the toilet in the churchyard.

“It was going to be used by the workmen as they carried out their work on the church.

“The police have been informed but there is little that they can do about it so if anyone has seen any suspicious activity or vehicles around the churchyard please inform the Church Warden Ann Harris on 07855060705.

“Please keep an eye out as we believe other things have been taken recently whilst the building work has been carried out, photographs or vehicle registrations would be a great help to the police so that they can catch the culprits.”

Villagers are feeling hopeful and would like to give the culprit the benefit of the doubt. It is hoped they will see this appeal and return the stones to the Churchyard where they were taken from.

“If you took it away thinking that it wasn’t needed, then this would be a good opportunity to put it back…”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Church Warden, Ann Harris, on 07855060705.

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