Over the May Bank Holiday weekend, vandals entered the disused church building at old St Mary’s Church.
They smashed the surface of one of the large flagstones in the nave of the old church. It is thought that a large rock was used to strike the surface of the flagstone, causing it to smash into pieces.
St Mary’s was built in the late 13th century, and reconstructed in the 17th century. It fell into disrepair during the early 1800s and finally closed in 1826 having become too small for the congregation, too expensive to maintain and too difficult to reach due to the gradient of the hill.
It is not the first time this year that the old church has suffered damage at the hands of mindless vandals. The building is looked after by volunteers on behalf of St Cuthbert’s, Pateley Bridge parochial church council. Repairs will have to be paid for by the church.
Inspector Jon Grainge, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: North Yorkshire has thousands of heritage sites across the county – they’re part of the reason why it’s such an attractive place to live and visit.
Heritage crime damages assets of historical interest and can lead to the loss of these assets forever. Repairing the damage caused to heritage sites is expensive, and the cost to communities is often immeasurable.
Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact us on 101, select option 2, and ask for Bill Hickson. You can also email email@example.com
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Please quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number 12170075078.