A 200-YEAR-old headstone has been found on a dirt track in Partington.

A dog walker spotted the memorial, which dates back to 1801, lying on a verge as she took her regular stroll along a track in the Heath Farm Lane area.

Mystery surrounds where the heavy tombstone came from and why it was dumped.

It is dedicated to a family called Little - Peter, who died in 1810, his wife Jane who died 18 years later, and their daughter, Catherine, who died when she was a toddler.

It is now being kept at St Mary’s Church in Partington, and the vicar, the Rev Peter Geddes, admitted he is mystified.

He said: “It didn’t come from our church, but where did it come from and why was it dumped? We don’t have a clue.”

He said it had almost certainly been fly-tipped just a couple of days before it was found as the dog walker regularly passes that spot and had not seen it previously.

He added: “It is mystery. But for someone to discard it on a dirt track a mile from anywhere is certainly not the proper thing to do.”

After the memorial was found, police were called to attend. They then called in parish council community improvement workers to move it.

Parish councillor Linda Smith said: “We are mystified as to how such a massive object came to be there. it took four lads and some sweat simply to move it.”

The inscription reads: “In memory of Peter Little died November 9 1810 aged 37 years. Also Jane Little his wife died January 4 1828 aged 56 years.

“Catherine Daughter of Peter and Jenny Little who died April 11 1801 aged 3 years 2 months. In love my saviour took me hence, before I lost my innocence. Also Elizabeth and William and their daughter.”

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