A 12th century church has been targeted by vandals.

St Bridget’s Kirk, Dalgety, was spray painted in the latest attack, as a national heritage charity has called residents to help protect the nationally-important monument.

Historic Environment Scotland said there have been a number of reported incidents.

Richard Aitken, of Historic Environment Scotland, said: “Mindless vandalism like this is not acceptable and very sad, given the long history and significance of the monument. Damage to an ancient monument is actually a criminal offence.

“We know that many in the community are just as concerned about the defacement of this important piece of local and national heritage as we are, and we would encourage them to play their part by being extra vigilant in reporting any information they have relating to this type of behaviour.

“We are working with Police Scotland and Fife Council to ensure that this kind of behaviour is prevented from re-occurring, and an important monument protected for future generations.”

St Bridget’s was built in the 1100s to serve as the parish church of Dalgety.

The Augustinian canons of nearby Inchcolm Abbey were responsible for arranging the worship at the church.

St Bridget’s continued to serve the parishioners after the Reformation of 1560, but the medieval church was significantly altered to make it fit for Protestant worship.

Worship continued at St Bridget’s until 1830.

By this date most parishioners were living over a mile away in the new mining village of Fordell, where a new kirk had been built.