Thieves have broken into Arundel Castle in southern England, and have stolen gold and silver items worth more than £1 million.
Sussex Police released information about the burglary, which took place on Friday, May 21st. An alarm was sounded at 10.30pm that evening, and within minutes the police arrived on the scene, but the culprit or culprits had gotten away after smashing into a display cabinet and stealing several items.
Some of the stolen goods have great historical significance. These include the Gold Rosary Beads carried by Mary Queen of Scots at her execution in 1587, several coronation cups given by the Sovereign to the Earl Marshal of the day, and other gold and silver treasures. The rosary is of little intrinsic value as metal, but as piece of the Howard family history and English heritage it is irreplaceable.
“The stolen items have significant monetary value, but as unique artefacts of the Duke of Norfolk’s collection have immeasurably greater and priceless historical importance,” said spokesman for Arundel Castle Trustees. “We therefore urge anyone with information to come forward to the police to assist them in returning these treasures back where they belong.”
Police are examining a few leads that might be connected to the burglary. Detective Constable Molly O’Malley of Chichester CID said; “If you were in Arundel on Friday evening and saw any suspicious activity around the area of the Castle, please contact us either online or by calling 101, quoting Operation Deuce.
“In addition, the castle only re-opened to visitors on Tuesday 18 May so if you were visiting during the past few days do you on reflection recall anyone behaving at all suspiciously? If you are offered or hear of anyone offering for sale any of the items stolen, we would also like to hear from you.”
Arundel Castle was first built in the eleventh century and has been upgraded and changed several times in the Middle Ages and later periods. It is now a major tourist site.
Top Image: Arundel Castle in 2017. Photo by Chensiyuan / Wikimedia Commons