Penshaw Monument vandalism: Anger over bizarre 'George Bush Snr' graffiti and obscenities sprayed on landmark, which will cost ‘thousands’ to repair

Yobs have vandalised Penshaw Monument with blue paint, leaving behind ugly damage and an big repair bill for the charity which owns it.

The vandalism is believed to have occurred over the weekend of January 21. Obscenities and other words – including ‘George Bush Snr’ – were sprayed onto the south-facing side of the monument’s plinth, looking towards Herrington Park, stretching about 15 feet.

There is further damage to the west side and 12 of the structure’s 18 pillars have been daubed with either a letter A or a M.

Sunderland’s most visible landmark is the property of the National Trust. The charity has not given a precise figure for the repair bill, but say it will run to “thousands of pounds”.

Graffiti has been daubed on a 16-feet length of the south-facing section of Penshaw Monument's plinth.

It is not the first time in recent years that Penshaw Monument has been struck by mindless yobs. In December 2020 even worse damage was reported to police, with graffiti including swastikas sprayed in red.

Similar vandalism, but on a lesser scale, took place in 2017 when the bill came to £2,500. The Trust said that the 2020 vandalism would cost “substantially more” than that to repair.

The 2020 attack required softeners and steam cleaning, to be gentle on the stonework and not cause problems for wildlife. However, such treatment is not cheap.

Ashleigh Gibson of the National Trust said: “We will work closely with Sunderland City Council to find specialist contractors to remove the damage, but this may take some time.

Vandals have sprayed either an A or M on 12 of the monuments pillars.

“The monument is a Grade I Listed Building, so we need to take care not to damage the stonework or cause further damage when removing the paint.

"The cost to remove the damage will be thousands of pounds, putting a strain on our charitable resources.

“We are proud to care of an important and cherished part of local history, so we are shocked and disappointed by the vandalism to Penshaw Monument.

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If you know who did this, please contact Northumbria Police.

“We are committed to restoring and protecting this special place and aim to start the work as soon as possible so visitors can continue to enjoy the beauty of the area.”

Anyone with information on this crime should contact Northumbria Police on 101.

Penshaw Monument