Disgusting vandals attack Wolfhampcote 'plague church' - forcing custodians to lock it up

St Peter's at Wolfhampcote.St Peter's at Wolfhampcote.
St Peter's at Wolfhampcote.
One resident described the damage at 'heartbreaking and mindless'

Disgusting vandals have again attacked the historic St Peter's Church at Wolfhampcote - causing serious damage to a 700-year-old pew and forcing custodians to lock the church.

Described as “the church that refused to die”, St Peter’s church at Wolfhampcote was made famous after Facebook users across Warwickshire found their posts being tagged as coming from the abandoned village.

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The church has been redundant for hundreds of years after the hamlet of Wolfhampcote was abandoned, but it remains consecrated and is still used for services and events.

And in recent years it has been left unlocked and open for the public to enjoy its quietness and historical value.

But a series of recent attacks on the beautiful Grade II listed building and its contents mean custodians have been forced to lock its door to prevent further damage.

Speaking today, August 18, Trines Ward, who is involved in the safeguarding of the building, said: "A couple of weeks ago we reported that this ancient and very beautiful ‘redundant’ church had been horribly vandalised and equipment stolen and damaged.

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"We are very sorry to report that the disgusting people responsible for this visited again, on or a day or two before, August 10th and have done even more damage.

"More money, donated by visitors towards maintenance of the church, has gone, a toilet door has been smashed off its hinges and the wall damaged.

"A beautiful old storage trunk has been filled with water from a nearby tank, rubbish strewn all over the place and, worst of all (and my eyes are dampening again as I write this), they have jumped up and down on an incredibly rare, irreplaceable and absolutely invaluable historic pew, a piece of our local heritage that is almost 700 years old, and broken its seat in two.

"There has been damage to other public property in Braunston recently so it is fair to assume this is all the work of a gang fairly local to the area."

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Christine Sanderson, a resident who lives nearby, said the damage to the church and its contents is both heartbreaking and mindless.

She said: "If you look in the vistors' book, you'll see it attracts between eight and ten people or groups a day.

"Visitors love the peace and the quiet it gives them.

"After the first incident we had six entries from different police patrols in the vistors' book - that page was torn out, ripped up and scattered across the floor in the latest incident.

"I suppose the vandals thought it was some kind of trophy.

"The people doing this need to be stopped now - in part for their own good. They are doing serious criminal damage."

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She added that far more advanced security is set to be installed shortly and an expert conservationist will be visiting next month to assess the damage to the historic pew.

A fundraiser to gather the money needed to heighten security and to fund the restoration work on the pew will be launched shortly.

The Advertiser will publish the details of the fundraiser in full when the information is available.

Anyone who has even a slight idea of who the culprits might be to contact Warwickshire Police immediately, citing incident 332 of August 10.

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You can also call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 and give a completely anonymous tip off, or visit crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymouslyWarwickshire Police told the Advertiser they have stepped up patrols following the incidents, and they are keen for anyone who sees anything suspicious to call 101, giving the incident written above.

Call 999 if you see a crime in progress.

Anyone wishing to go inside the church should now pick up the keys from Hall Farm of The Old Vicarage.