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Thieves steal historic plaques from St Michael's Church in East Peckham

Two brass plaques were stolen from an East Peckham church
Two brass plaques were stolen from an East Peckham church

A pair of historic plaques have been stolen from a church floor.

Two brass images of a man and a woman are thought to have been taken from St Michael's Church, in East Peckham, by metal thieves.

The decorative features were inlaid in the floor of the nave of the church for more than 500 years.

It was noticed they were missing at about 1pm on Saturday by a keyholder.

The identity of the couple featured in the plaques has been disputed for many years by villagers.

Some say the plaques - which each measure about 18 inches - are of William and Margaret Whetenhall, who lived in the village in the 1500s, while others disagree.

Village historian Philip Lawrence said: "Opinion has differed for some time on who the images are of. My view is they could have been of a family called the Caisers, who farmed in East Peckham in the 1500s.

"The main plaque which sat with them has long been gone, but these two were in good order. They won't have much financial value but they are important to the community. I expect they could turn up in antique shops."

It is not known when the images were taken as the church is open daily for visitors.

Anyone who has been offered the plaques for sale, or who suspects they know who may have taken them, is asked to phone Kent Police on 101, quoting crime reference YY/6028/13.

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