South Scotland

Stone carved head stolen from Dryburgh Abbey

carved head Image copyright Police scotland
Image caption The sculpture shows a female in a headdress

Police are investigating after a stone carved head was stolen from a church in the Scottish Borders.

The unique carving originally decorated part of a stone arch inside Dryburgh Abbey in Newtown St Boswells, near Melrose.

The sculpture is of a female wearing a headdress with a crimped collar that runs under her chin.

The carving was taken some time between Thursday 12 and Friday 13 February.

Border locations

Police Scotland said they wanted to speak to anyone who saw a group of four men in their 20s in the abbey car park at about 16:30 on 12 February.

Sgt Mark Cranston said: "The men had dark hair, a Mediterranean appearance and one of them was wearing a bright lime-green ski jacket.

"All four were seen in a Ford car and may have been visiting other Scottish Border locations during the day.

"We would also ask these men to contact us so to assist with our inquiries."

A spokesman for Historic Scotland said they are assisting police with their investigation into the theft of the "culturally important item".

He added: "The missing head-stop carving is a great example of detailed stonemason craftsmanship and is extremely well preserved.

"It depicts the head of a noble female widow - clearly identifiable through the detailed decorative carvings which depict a full headdress and crimped patterned barbe."

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