Medieval figurative brass stolen from St Mary's in Itchen Stoke

A medieval figurative brass plaque has been stolen from the wall of St Mary's Church in Itchen Stoke.

The brass was one of the few remaining items from the original medieval church which previously stood 200 metres south from the current church site. We are now appealing to locals for any information which may help in recovering the brass.

The figurative brass is thought to date from the 1500s and depicts a standing woman. It is approximately 48cm tall and sits alongside a second wall-mounted brass of a kneeling woman. St Mary’s Church, built in 1866, is notable for its geometric patterned stained glass windows.

Volunteer John Harvey unlocks the church for visitors on a daily basis and discovered the brass was missing when he conducted his regular walk around to check the church. On discovering the brass was missing he contacted staff at The Churches Conservation Trust who reported it to the police.

Speaking after discovering the theft, John Harvey said:

"It’s such a shame. It’s a real disappointment when you walk into the church and see a big hole in the wall where the brass should be, especially when you know it is one of the last items we have left from the old church."

Regional Director at The Churches Conservation Trust, Colin Shearer, added:

"Heritage crime is a national problem faced by many organisations and something that The Churches Conservation Trust is working hard to tackle. We feel extremely sad that something so valuable can be taken from the community that it belongs to and will do all that we can to help the police with their investigation in the hope that this valued item will be returned to its rightful place."

Anyone with information about the theft or who knows where the plaque is should contact Alton Police on 101 or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Locals can register their interest in volunteering at St Mary’s Church with Ed McGregor at [email protected]