GRAFFITI has been sprayed on the inside of the ancient Clitheroe Castle causing more than £2,000 worth of damage.

The graffiti has left Ribble Valley council bosses furious and bemused.

A specialist team of restorers will have to be drafted in to clean the Grade One listed 12th Century monument at a cost of thousands of pounds to council taxpayers.

Now the hunt is on to find the culprit.

The vandalism follows on from the barrier to a disabled car park on the Edisford river band - a popular Clitheroe beauty spot - being wrecked for the second time in six months last week causing £3,000 worth of damage.

In a joint statement, Ricky Newmark, chairman of Ribble Valley Council’s Community Committee, and Primrose ward representative Mary Robinson, said: “Clitheroe Castle is the jewel in the borough’s crown and it is beyond belief that anyone would deface it in this way.

“A team of specialist cleaners will have to be drafted in to assess the ancient stonework and remove the graffiti.

“We are determined to recover any repair costs from the moron responsible for this and are asking anyone with information to step forward.”

Anyone with information about the Clitheroe Castle graffiti is asked to call the police in confidence on 101.