A 200-year-old door handle has gone missing from a historic building.

The door knob at the Moot Hall in Maldon vanished last week and hasn’t been seen since.

Staff searched the surrounding areas and the churchyard but the historic door handle was nowhere to be found.

The Moot Hall is the surviving part of a much larger building known as the D’arcy Mansion or Master D’arcy’s Tower, which has stood on Maldon High Street since the early 15th Century.

Now the hall is used for events, performances, exhibitions and weddings.

Staff posted an appeal on Facebook which reached more than 12,600 people and was shared almost 100 times in the hope of finding the door handle.

Residents took to Facebook to voice their outrage that someone would take the handle.

One said: “Why would someone do this? I shouldn’t be shocked, but honestly it is a rotten thing to do.”

Another said: “Who would do such a stupid nasty thing? I do hope it is back soon.”

Luckily, a resident came forward with a handle almost identical to the one that had been taken.

Natasha Peen, from Purleigh, rescued a handle in the same style from a skip several years ago and contacted staff via Facebook to offer hers for free.

Moot Hall manager Victoria George said: “Mostly local people were sad and shocked at the vandalism.

“But there is a good outcome – it looks a good match and we hope to have it fitted to the Moot Hall very soon.

“The donated handle is now with our caretaker who will attempt to remove the reminder of the damaged handle and fit the replacement – a happy ending.”