A religious ritual involving the a dead sheep at an iconic beauty spot has become the talk of a small village community.
Residents in Bamburgh have expressed their disbelief after a strange act took place on the beach in the shadow of the famous castle.
Shocked villagers have described the incident, which occurred last week, as ‘sickening’ and claimed fires and a goat were also involved.
One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “People are really concerned as there are a lot of rumours circulating that this religious ritual took place on the beach in which a lamb was sacrificed.
“There are rumours that a goat was involved, that fires were lit on the beach and some strange markings or some kind of statue were said to be found.
“People are saying that it is a pagan ritual.”
Northumbria Police were informed of the incident at 2.35pm on Wednesday, April 2.
They have said that it was a religious act but they believe that no animal cruelty had taken place.
A spokeswoman said: “On April 2, police received a report that a dead sheep had been found on the beach at Bamburgh.
“Full inquiries have been carried out and police have spoken to a number of people.
“It has been confirmed that while an event did take place on the beach, attended by people who do not live in the area, we’d like to reassure residents that no animals were killed during this event.
“It appears to be isolated and those involved have been spoken to and advised about their activities.
“The sheep was already dead before this event took place and there is no evidence that any animal cruelty has taken place.
“Details have been passed to relevant authorities regarding potential health and safety breaches.”