HISTORIC Grade II listed stocks and a number of York flag stones have been stolen from outside a church.
The wood from the 18th century stocks and the slabs outside the Church of St John the Baptist in Broughton, Preston, were stolen over the weekend.
Police and the church are now appealing for anyone with information to get in touch.
According to English Heritage the village stocks with two shouldered slabs, two wooden beams with housing for two occupants and metal shackles.
The stocks were first listed in 1952 and were restored 1902 to commemorate coronation of Edward VII.
Rev Shaun Baldwin the Vicar of Broughton said in recent weeks there has also been a break in at the choir vestry and the theft of the stocks and stone has left a mess outside the entrance to the church.
He said: “We believe that the first theft of stone happened last Saturday night and then on Monday morning the wood from the stocks had gone.
“There has also been visible attempts to steal more stone.
“It is beggar’s belief. I can’t believe what value the stocks are going to be to anybody.
“I have only been in the parish for a few weeks. You don’t expect to have to field a break in in the church and then things happening outside the church. We are concerned that the church is vulnerable to such offences.”
Police belief the culprits would have had equipment with them and a vehicle.
Community Beat Manager for Broughton PC Chris Banks said: “The community is in uproar. It has caused upset in the village.”
Anybody with information should call police on 101 or Broughton Police station on 01772 863390.