An urn dating back to the 1700s has been taken from the grounds of film and TV director Paul Weiland’s estate near Bradford on Avon.

The urn, which topped the balustrade on the corner of a flight of outdoor steps, went missing between 4pm on Tuesday and 8am on Wednesday from the estate, estimated to be worth £22m, owned by Mr Weiland, who has directed the TV show Mr Bean, films City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold and Sixty Six as well a series of Walkers crisp adverts starring Gary Lineker.

The garden ornament, estimated to be worth thousands of pounds, looks like the one pictured and has a mark where a diagonal crack has been repaired.

A gardener at the grounds said: “The urn is part of something beautiful and it being missing ruins the heritage of the site. The people who have done this have vandalised what is a beautiful place.”

Police will be checking the estate’s CCTV and believe it took two or three people to remove the large object and get it over the ground’s perimeter wall.
They suspect it might have been taken by someone working on a garden in the Bradford on Avon or Bath area.

PC Nigel Willcocks said: “It is quite likely this has been taken as part of an order for work as it is not the sort of thing you’d expect to see in your typical garden. If someone has innocently purchased this item we’d like them to come forward and help with our inquires.

“The piece is very distinctive so we are hopeful that someone will know where it is and come forward.”