Antique lion hacked off Northamptonshire park gateposts in bizarre lead theft

The antique lion sculpture, once sat atopt the gateposts to Boughton Park, has been stolen.

The antique lion sculpture, once sat atopt the gateposts to Boughton Park, has been stolen.

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Thieves chiselled off a lead lion sculpture from the gateposts of a Northamptonshire village park during an overnight burglary.

The owners of the 18th Century figurine once sat on the A508 entrance to Boughton Park are now desperately appealing for its return.

The gatepost as it looks now.

The gatepost as it looks now.

Thieves broke the item off from the gatepost between 1am and 1.30am on Tuesday morning (November 8).

However a lead griffin figure, sat on the opposite gatepost, was strangely left in place.

Oliver Mackaness, whose family lives within the park boundaries and owns the lion, fears the item will have been sold for its lead on the black market - though it probably has an antique value of up to £50,000.

Mr Mackaness, said: “I don’t know how they got it down, but they must have damaged it when they took it down.

“Now we are worried - are they going to take the other one?”

The lion bears the coat of arms of the Wentworth family, the original occupants of Boughton Hall and has been stolen before. In the 1970s the sculpture was discovered in a building in Buckinghamshire and had to be returned to Boughton Park.

Northamptonshire Police has called on anyone with information about the theft, or anyone that saw a car in the area in the early hours of the morning, to call the non-emergency number, 101.

The crime number to quote is: 16000358908.

“What is worse is the people who have stolen this probably do not realise its antique value,” said Mr Mackaness, who noticed the theft on his way to work on Tuesday morning.

“Whoever has taken it is probably selling it for scrap.”

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