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Theft of Historical Artefact from Deer Abbey, Mintlaw


Police are appealing for information following the theft of a historical 'man trap' from the entrance wall at Deer Abbey, Mintlaw. The device would have been used in the late 1700s and early 1800s to catch poachers and trespassers on large estates. Traps of this kind were made illegal in 1827.

Inspector Rory Campbell said 'Historic sites form an integral part of our cultural heritage and far from being places consigned to the past, they are vibrant and alive, welcoming visitors from all across the globe. This 'man trap' was removed from a wall at the entrance to Deer Abbey sometime between the afternoon of 14 June and the afternoon of 15 June 2022.'

Peter McGrath, Head of Physical Security, Historic Environment Scotland said ‘Theft from historic sites, whether on our estate or in the wider historic environment, is unacceptable. Acts such as this can cause irreparable damage and mean that we can lose pieces of our past forever.’

Anyone with information can contact the Police on 101 quoting reference PS-20220620-1384 or anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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Michael Urquhart
(Police Scotland, PC, A Div - North East - Crime Reduction Team)

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