Police launch manhunt for brazen thieves who stole ancient stones from 16th century castle

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POLICE have launched a manhunt to track down brazen thieves who stole ancient stones from a 16th century Scots castle. 

Cops have revealed that several large stones were taken from a two metre section of wall at Torwood Castle in Falkirk earlier this month.

The A listed L-shaped tower house is thought to date back to 1566 and was once the seat of the ancient and noble Clan Forrester.

The 16th century castle - Scottish Crime News
The castle is located in Larbert, Falkirk.                                                                                                 (C) HES

The clan had royal connections and Duncan Forrester was the Comptroller of the Royal Household for James IV.

The Forresters worked with the land and provided timber for the King’s artillery.

Over recent years, several bodies have attempted to restore the Scots baronial style castle which is currently derelict and overgrown.

Local man Gary Grant, his dog Meg and cat Fredo are believed to be currently living in the castle after moving in to prevent vandals from causing further damage.  

He has so far spent thousands of pounds of his own money trying to halt the decay and make it water proof. 

Police Scotland are now investigating after stones with historical value were stolen from the castle between the 1st and 18th of July.

Police Scotland’s Forth Valley Police Division issued an appeal on Friday, stating: “Theft of stone – Torwood Castle

“We are appealing for information after stones were stolen from a wall at Torwood Castle, Glen Road.

“Sometime between 1st & 18th July 2021, a two metre section of wall that surrounds a monument at the castle, was damaged and several large stones removed.

“The castle is owned by a charitable trust and is a Grade A listed building, dating back to around 1566; it is assumed that the wall was built around that time and is of historical value.”

Torwood Castle - Scottish Crime News
It is thought to date back to 1566 and was once the seat of the ancient and noble Clan Forrester.                (C) HES

The post has collected almost 300 likes and more than 200 shares online.

Dozens of Scots have commented on the post, shocked by the lengths the thieves took.

Paula Gardner said: “How sad, desperate times and desperate people. Surely they had a vehicle with them.” 

Barry Fowler said: “I find it hard to understand how some folk think and live with themselves. 

“Hope you get some good info on this crime. It is a crime, let’s not lose sight of that so if you have any info get it to the police right away.”

Tracey White said: “So angry and disgusted that people have no respect for their own country’s history.”

While one person joked: “You’ll probably find it in the window of cash converters in Stirling.” 

The roofless castle is three storeys tall and comprises a vaulted ground floor, a first floor and an attic.

The Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland originally listed its level of risk as low but raised that level to moderate in mid-2019 after seeing signs of continued neglect.

Police Scotland has appealed to anyone with information about the theft to contact them, quoting incident number 1713.

Gary Grant, 53 from Denny, Falkirk who is soon to be a trustee of the site said:

“I stay in the castle a few nights a week to keep an eye on it with my cat and wee dog. The paperwork is going through just now to make me a trustee of the site.

“I’m a joiner and builder by trade and I’m trying to restore it. The next big thing we are hoping to do is to put the roof back on. It’ll be a big job.

“I want to save it for Scotland, it is a part of Scotland’s history. I’ve been coming up since I was 12 and used to help the old owner put the stones back in place.

“They (the thieves) started to take a couple of stones and kept coming back, taking more and more.

“The last time they came I saw the white transit van driving away but didn’t get a chance to catch it.

“When it was first published in the papers they were back again that night. They are as bold as brass.”