Page last updated at 09:39 GMT, Wednesday, 22 October 2008 10:39 UK

Race attack scars iconic monument

Sir John Barrow monument
The monument was built in 1850

Police and civic leaders have condemned a "racially aggravated" vandal attack on an iconic Lake District monument.

Part of the Sir John Barrow monument in Ulverston was daubed with racist graffiti and covered in tar.

The 100ft (30.5m) high lighthouse-style monument remembers the former naval historian and second secretary to the Admiralty born in 1764.

Cumbria Police described the attack as "saddening". Ulverston Town Council said the incident was "heartbreaking".

The Grade II Listed structure was built in 1850 and stands on Hoad Hill, overlooking the market town.

Diverse community

It was built in the style of a former Eddystone Lighthouse and has become an iconic symbol throughout the Northwest.

Insp Tim Ward of Cumbria Police said: "What is particularly saddening is that some of the graffiti was of a racist nature.

"Ulverston is a strongly diverse community and I know that the people in the town pride themselves on being welcoming to all.

"It's likely the offenders will have had traces of tar on their clothing and I appeal to the public for help."

Ulverston town clerk David Parratt said: "It is heartbreaking to think someone could do this sort of thing."

Richard Saunders, of the Friends of Sir John Barrow Monument, added: "This is horrifying. The monument is an icon of the town.

"I just can't get my head around why people would do this."

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