AN historic 300-year-old sundial has been stolen from a village church.

Callous thieves prised the bronze monument from a pillar at All Saints’ Church in Gresford overnight on Thursday into Friday last week.

Auctioneers estimate that the sundial, which was between eight and ten inches in width, could have been worth up to £3,000.

Father Tudor Hughes from the church said: “We are just saddened it’s gone missing. It’s not something you can replace easily.

“We try to keep the place in fairly good repair, it’s difficult enough and expensive enough to run the church.

“We’re an ancient building and these things happen.”

Father Hughes said that in the past 18 months there have been three other incidents where lead has been taken from the church roof.

He believes thugs may have used a chisel to prise the sundial, dating from 1732, from the top of a sandstone pillar on the south side of the church in the latest attack.

The pillar, which was about chest height, was also damaged during the incident.

He believes the thieves simply want to sell on the items and metal for money.

A spokesman for North Wales Police said the incident was reported at 4.30pm on Friday.

“A sundial was stolen from the front of the church overnight on October 7 into October 8,” he said.

“There was quite a bit of damage to the stone pillar.

“The gate to the church was locked but a padlock was missing.”

Senior auctioneer from Wingetts Auctioneers on Holt Street, Wrexham, Richard Hughes, estimated the sundial could be worth between £1,000 and £3,000.

If you have any information call North Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.