VANDALS have left graffiti strewn across one of Warrington’s most iconic and historic buildings.

Cromwell’s Cottage on Church Street was targeted overnight, with messages in red and blue paint scrawled all across its walls.

Warrington Guardian:

The Tudor building, where Oliver Cromwell is believed to have stayed near to in 1648, is now used as the Cottage Indian restaurant.

Warrington Guardian:

Graffiti includes the message ‘justice for Shukri Abdi’, a Bury schoolgirl who drowned in a river at the age of 12 in June last year.

Rallies were held across the world last week to mark the anniversary of her death.

Read more of our live coverage from today here

Warrington Guardian:

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Other phrases include ‘stop raping children’ and ‘gofur dudu zomeer’ – the meaning of the latter being unclear.

Warrington Guardian:

One resident living opposite the Cottage told the Warrington Guardian that they had gone to bed at around 11pm on the Thursday, and awoke to see the graffiti at around 7.30am on Friday.

Warrington Guardian:

Some reports say that the damage was caused shortly after 5.30am.

Warrington Borough Council says it is 'working closely' with the owners of the Cottage in order to carry out repair work.

A spokesman for WBC said: “We are aware of the incident and will work closely with the owners of the building to ensure that appropriate remedial work to restore the historic building is taken.”

Meanwhile, the Cottage's management say that the graffiti will cost tens of thousands of pounds to remove.

Cheshire Police have confirmed that they are investigating the incident.

A force spokesman said: "At around 5.45am today, Friday, officers were called to reports of criminal damage at a building on Church Street.

"Officers attended the scene and found that graffiti had been sprayed on the front of the building.

"Enquiries in relation to the incident are ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact Cheshire Police on 101, quoting incident number IML745181.

"Information can also be passed on to Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111."