Concerns have been raised that a missing gravestone may have been stolen from an historic graveyard.

David Rose, of Longniddry, last saw the gravestone of his great-grandfather, also called David Rose, in March 2016 at the picturesque church ruins of St Andrew's Kirk Ports, North Berwick.

He said: "This gravestone means a great deal to our family and I am shocked and saddened to think that someone may have taken it.

"My great-grandfather was a member of the lifeboat team on the ‘Fergus Ferguson’ and his name is on the board at the lifeboat station.

David Rose's picture of his great-grandfather's gravestone at St Andrew's Kirk Ports, North Berwick

"His gravestone must have been very difficult to lift and move, and I cannot understand why anyone would do this."

The stone's resting place for more than a century was by the Grant Suttie Aisle near the south wall of the ruined church – but David could not find it when he visited the graveyard again this June.

He contacted North Berwick Environment and Heritage Trust (NBEHT), which is working to preserve the historic site, to ask if the stone had been moved, and they notified Andy Robertson of East Lothian Council’s archaeology team, who confirmed that no one from the council knew of its whereabouts.

Local historian Joy Dodd had recorded all the inscriptions on the stones in the Kirk Ports graveyard a few years ago.

READ MORE: Options considered for future of St Andrew's Kirk Ports

The inscription on this gravestone reads: "Erected in loving memory of Frances ROSE died Nov 29th 1902 aged 17 years and 2 months; also Janet died Nov 20th 1889 aged 20 months and 3 weeks; also David ROS[E] father of the above died 1st April 1922 aged 68 years; Frances Jackson GULLANE died Octr 23rd 1923 aged 68 years, mother of the above.

“Christ shall glasp the broken chain closer when we meet again".

Olwyn Owen, chair of NBEHT, said: "This is a grave business – pun intended. St Andrew’s Kirk Ports and its graveyard is a scheduled monument, which means it is a monument of national importance and protected by law.

"It is illegal to remove anything from the site. We are very sorry indeed that this stone appears to have been taken, but especially sad for Mr Rose and his family.

"We would like to see this gravestone returned to its rightful home. If anyone knows where the stone is, please do get in touch with the Trust or East Lothian Council."

East Lothian Council's Mr Robertson said: "There is no sign of Mr Rose’s great-grandfather’s gravestone on site and it has not been moved by anyone from the council.

"If this fine stone has been stolen, this is a heritage crime. East Lothian Council has therefore reported the matter to the police and to Historic Environment Scotland.

"We would urge anyone with any information to get in touch as soon as possible".

Police Scotland have been contacted for comment.

North Berwick Environment and Heritage Trust is leading a campaign to conserve and enhance the town's old kirk and make it available again for community use and enjoyment. Further information about the site and the project can be found on their website: