Mystery surrounds a number of damaged headstones at a Derbyshire church - with suggestions it could have been caused as long as 30 years ago.
Pictures have emerged of smashed gravestones scattered across the northern section of the graveyard at St. Peter & St. Paul Church in Eckington.
The images show a huge number of memorials broken into small and large pieces, with further fragments hidden under rubble.
A Derbyshire man, who did not wish to be named, said he was “shocked” when he came across the damage.
“I was doing some genealogy work into my ancestors when I noticed that my great-great-great grandfather’s stone was missing, as was about 90 per cent of the other memorials.
“There is no sign of my great-great-great grandfather’s stone. When I couldn’t find it I felt a sense of loss and was quite shocked.
“How can so many memorials vanish just like that?
“It was clear to me that they had been broken up, with one of the memorials suffering five hammer blows to it.”
He added: “There are many, many smaller fragments under the rubble.
“I really want to get to the bottom of it.
“I believe the damage to go back some time, perhaps the late 1970s to early 1980s.
Rector at the church, Andy Walker, said: “We do not know what happened at the minute, we are still trying to piece it together.
“We are working within a window of about 30 years.
“I have been at the church for 18 months and to the best of my knowledge it hasn’t happened since then.
“It is an area of the church where nobody really goes. It is in an area which cannot be easily seen. There is no road that goes past it.”