July 31 2014 Latest news:
Monday, March 17, 2014
Replica Norman battle weaponry, including a sword, axe and longbow, has been stolen after thieves raided a popular tourist attraction.
The Grand Hall and Armoury at Mountfitchet Castle, in Lower Street, Stansted, was broken into overnight between Saturday and Sunday (March 15-16).
A jousting helmet, mace, arrows and a chainmail shirt were also among the £6,700 worth of replica items taken.
Thieves broke in by forcing a padlock, causing £150 damage.
Here is a full break down of the stolen items:
• Jousting helmet worth £3,000;
• Saxon metal helmet - £800;
• Chainmail shirt - £700;
• Chainmail Coif - £150;
• Norman two-handed sword - £600;
• Norman two-handed axe - £300;
• Mace - £250;
• Saxon Sutton Hoo helmet - £450;
• Norman longbow - £450; and
• Arrows - £50;
Popular with schools and families, visitors to Mountfitchet Castle can also wander round a reconstructed Norman Village dating back to 1066.
Another attraction is the House on the Hill Toy Museum, which has a collection of over 80,000 toys from the Victorian era right up to the 1990s.
Manager of the family-business, Jeremy Goldsmith, told the Reporter the castle was still open as normal but expressed his dismay that schoolchildren would miss out on seeing some of the exhibits.
“It’s frustrating that someone has done this because we work very hard as a family-run business,” he said. “I’ve got 300 schoolchildren in today and I feel sorry for them that they won’t get to appreciate all the things they would have done because of this selfish act.
“It makes my blood boil.”
Mr Goldsmith added: “We have CCTV, which will be examined by the police, so hopefully those responsible will be caught. The items stolen had a special security indelible ink on them so they are traceable, too.”
Anyone with information about the burglary should contact Saffron Walden police station on 101.