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Thieves steal treasures from Gloucestershire stately home

Some of the items that were stolen from Sudeley Castle. Credit: Gloucestershire Constabulary

Highly valuable and historically important artefacts have been stolen from a Gloucestershire stately home.

The break-in at Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe, near Cheltenham, was carried out “under the cover of darkness” earlier this month.

Police say four offenders forced their way into the exhibition area of the stately home during the early hours of September 8, smashed a display case and stole valuable jewellery and artefacts contained within.

CCTV images showed the thieves were well prepared for the raid, coming armed with a chair, sledgehammer and large bag.

A £10,000 reward has been offered for the return of the items. Credit: Gloucestershire Constabulary

A £10,000 reward has since been offered by the insurer of Sudeley Castle for the return of the items, which were part of the Alice Keppel collection.

While the monetary value of the objects varies, their historical and cultural significance is priceless. They also hold irreplaceable sentimental value for everyone at the Castle and Lady Ashcombe is deeply saddened by the incident. The insurer of Sudeley Castle is prepared to offer a reward of £10,000 for the return of the items.

– Sudeley Castle statement

What was stolen?

  • Circular three-colour gold snuff-box;
  • Gold enamel and jewelled presentation snuff box;
  • Rectangular cigarette case;
  • Rectangular gold snuff box;
  • Russian parcel-guilt preserve jar;
  • Two Russian silver spirit pots;
  • Enamel & rose gold fob watch by Cartier; and
  • Gold cigarette case by Faberge.

Detective Superintendent Steve Bean, of Gloucestershire Constabulary, said it is possible the thieves may have been seen leaving the property.

He appealed for anyone with any information to get in touch.

This burglary happened under cover of darkness, but it is still possible that someone may have witnessed suspicious behaviour at or near the property in the hours leading up to it or afterwards, and may be able to help us identify the offenders.

Clearly the stolen items are very distinctive and have a great deal of historical, as well as financial, value.

They should be easy to identify and if anyone is aware of them being offered for sale, I would urge them to report it to police as soon as possible.

– Detective Superintendent Steve Bean