Norfolk: Damaged stained glass windows at Besthorpe Church

Published:
10:30 a.m. June 21, 2022



Updated:
17:12 21 June 2022

Vandals have damaged stained glass in a medieval church in south Norfolk after weeks of escalating attacks.

The incident happened at All Saints Church in Bunwell Road in Besthorpe, near Attleborough.

Several stained glass windows in the 14th century church were damaged at some point between Thursday June 2 and Friday June 17.


The shattered windows under the protected stained glass windows of Besthorpe Church of All Saints
– Credit: Denise Bradley

Reverend Matthew Jackson said: “It’s frustrating that this is happening.

“I have been at All Saints Church for 12 years and this is the first time something like this has happened.

“Luckily our 15th century stained glass windows were not damaged as they are encased in protective glass.

“There aren’t many left from this period in this condition, making them rare works of art.”


One of the broken windows in Besthorpe Church of All Saints.

One of the broken windows in Besthorpe Church of All Saints
– Credit: Denise Bradley

All Saints Church has a number of examples of medieval stained glass.

Focused windows are on the south side of the church and depict St Michael and St George slaying a dragon with a spear, displaying distinctive designs by 15th century Norwich glass painters.


A view of the stained glass windows from inside Besthorpe Church

A view of the stained glass windows from inside Besthorpe Church
– Credit: All Saints Church Besthorpe

The thrown stones shattered the panels below, narrowly missing the priceless historic artwork.

The attack is an escalation of ongoing vandalism issues that have plagued the historic church for several weeks, according to the Reverend.


Besthorpe Church of All Saints.

Besthorpe All Saints Church
– Credit: Denise Bradley

“We recently had a persistent problem with vandalism which has accumulated over the past few weeks,” Reverend Jackson continued.

“We believe this latest attack happened on Thursday evening (June 18) but before that we had minor acts of vandalism with billboards pulled down and cigarette butts thrown around.

“The church is quite secluded from the road so it’s easy for people to walk around the back and stay out of sight.

“We reported the issue to the police who spent as much time as they could, but obviously it only takes a few seconds for someone to break windows.

“A lot of times when people start breaking windows it leads to further damage, so we’re worried there will be more to follow.”


Besthorpe Church of All Saints.

Besthorpe All Saints Church
– Credit: Denise Bradley

Police are appealing for witnesses who may have seen or heard suspicious activity in the area.

Anyone with information should contact PC Andrew London at Norfolk Constabulary on 101 quoting crime reference number 36/45983/22.

Jerry B. Hatch