Police investigating after gravestones smashed at Cornwall church

Churchyard stones smashed in Cornwall
The stones were found by a group of workers who maintain the site. Credit: Elizabeth Dale

Police are investigating after a number of gravestones dating back to the 1800s were destroyed at a church in Cornwall.

Devon and Cornwall Police is encouraging anyone who may have information relating to the vandalism at the Church of St Piran in Perranarworthal near Truro to contact them.

The damaged gravestones were found by a working party which maintains the graveyard. The vandalism is suspected to have taken place sometime between November 2 and November 8.

One of the church wardens, David Simmons, said: “There are no trees that have come down and the way they have been smashed doesn’t look accidental.

“We may never know who did this but, either way, we hope it is an isolated event. We’ve warned other churches to look out for similar offences. It’s left us feeling intimidated and wondering what will come next.

"But we can’t ascertain why or who would do this. We don’t know if it is random or targeted. It has all felt very sinister and upsetting really.”

The church is now searching through records in the hope of contacting family descendants.

A spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: "We received a report of criminal damage at the Church of St Piran, Perranarworthal, in which a large headstone was smashed sometime between Tuesday 2 November and Monday 8 November.

“Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, or email 101@dc.police.uk, quoting crime reference CR/098276/21.”