Historic Durham window is attacked by vandal

AN irreplaceable stained glass window has been smashed in an act of "random" vandalism by a drunk who hurled plant pots at it.

AN irreplaceable stained glass window has been smashed in an act of "random" vandalism by a drunk who hurled plant pots at it.

Last week a drunken man wandered into the garden of The Grey Tower, North Road, Durham.

When householder Stephen Childs challenged the man he turned on him violently and began throwing items through the window.

Inspector Paul Anderson of Durham Police said: “For no apparent reason the man turned on Mr Childs, who ran back into the house, locking the door behind him. The man then began throwing plant pots at the window.

“The house is a listed building and he broke a rare stained glass window.”

Now Mr Childs’ partner, Sara Taylor, has appealed for photographs of the stained glass window.

She said: “I have no idea how old it is but the sketchings of Durham Cathedral were rather unusual. Passers-by have knocked on our door asking if they can take photographs of the house, and of the window.

“It may be a forlorn hope but perhaps somebody will have a copy which will enable the window to be restored, either a passer-by or a previous occupant of the house.

“I wish we had taken a photo now, but we didn’t expect some fool to come along and smash the window.”

Ms Taylor said the act of vandalism happened “so quickly” neither she nor her partner nor their two sons had time to be frightened.

“The man didn’t even know where he was. It was 7.45pm on Good Friday evening, and it was a completely random act of vandalism, but it has destroyed an irreplaceable window.”

The Grey Tower has the appearance of a medieval tower house and is rumoured to be haunted.

In the 1880s, it was inhabited by the editor of the Durham Chronicle whose wife, Mrs Linneaus Banks, wrote a novel called Stung to the Quick or The Waif of the Wear, which gave rise to the tradition that the tower was haunted.

Local people often refer to the tower as the haunted house and a ghostly face is said to occasionally appear in an upstairs window.

Anybody with a photograph of the stained glass window can contact Neil McKay at neil.mckay@ncjmedia.co.uk

A man, 23, from Chester-le-Street, is due to appear in court charged with assault, affray and causing criminal damage.


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