Thief smashes century-old World War One stained glass memorial window at Selby Abbey

Selby AbbeySelby Abbey
Selby Abbey
A thief has badly damaged a stained glass window donated by the people of Selby to commemorate the town's World War One dead.

The burglar smashed a corner panel of the 100-year-old window during the break-in at Selby Abbey on Saturday night before stealing a tablet device and around £10 in loose change.

The window, which bears an inscription, was given to the abbey after a public subscription fund was organised in the aftermath of World War One.

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The vicar of Selby Abbey, Canon John Weetman, said that he hopes restoration experts based at York Minster will be able to repair the damage.

Damage to the World War One memorial windowDamage to the World War One memorial window
Damage to the World War One memorial window

"This window was given to us by the people of the town. The bottom corner panel is badly damaged and will need reconstructing, but luckily there are people in York with the right skills.

"I've been here for 10 years and this is the first break-in we've had, we've been fortunate before now."

The thief was caught on the abbey's CCTV and police are now reviewing the footage.

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Selby Abbey contains several stained glass windows, the marjority of them Victorian, although the oldest is the medieval East Window, which would have been far more difficult to restore had it been damaged.

"We were very relieved it wasn't one of the older windows, as the East Window is our most notable. Although we don't think this person deliberately targeted the memorial window, it does add to the upset, as it was donated by the public in memory of the war dead. With Remembrance coming up, which was already going to be a difficult event this year, it's unsettling."

Officers investigating the crime would like to hear from anyone who witnessed anything suspicious around the abbey on Saturday night or in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for Hollie Jones, or email [email protected]