Medieval monument in Rotherham damaged by illegal metal detecting

Rogue treasure hunters have damaged a medieval monument in South Yorkshire.

Metal detectorists have illegally dug ‘multiple’ holes at Roche Abbey in Maltby, Rotherham, damaging the grounds of the Grade II-listed ruins.

South Yorkshire Police said ‘two incidents of digging and illegal metal detecting activity’ at the site, with the offences believed to have been committed between December 11 and December 18.

The force today appealed for witnesses to come forward following what it called a ‘spate of criminal damage’.

The ruins of Roche Abbey

“After exhausting all other lines of enquiry, officers are now asking for your help to find those responsible,” it said.

“Have you visited the site between December 11 and 18? Did you see or hear anything suspicious?”

Roche Abbey was founded in the 12th century as a monastery and the remains are said to be among the ‘finest early Gothic architecture in Britain’.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting the investigation number 14/192278/19.