A family has been left devastated by a burglary in which irreplaceable jewellery with enormous sentimental value was taken.

The silver jewellery had been made by the householder's father for her mother who died just before Christmas and had been kept in a special safe which had also been taken.

Thieves broke into the house, in Mill Road, Great Gransden, between 1.50pm and 5pm on Tuesday, July 3.

The householder, who did not want to be named, lives at the house with her husband and teenage daughter.

She said: "We are all absolutely gutted, especially for my father who is just devastated.

"We only lost my mother six months ago and to have this happen is horrendous. Now my daughter does not want to be in the house alone."

She said her father had taken up jewellery-making in preparation for retirement and that most of the items had been given to her mother.

She did not want to put a value on the missing jewellery - saying that it was beyond value to the family.

The jewellery is highly distinctive and has a personal hallmark with RCD in it.

The safe also contained the last Christmas card her daughter received from her grandmother, to whom she was very close, which had also been taken, together with £500 she had raised towards a charity project she was taking part in.

The householder said she had been out when the thieves struck in a busy part of the village in the middle of the afternoon.

She said the thieves had jemmied the padlock on the gate and had broken into the shed and used garden tools to force their way into the house.

"They went into every bedroom and opened every drawer. When they left they closed the doors and windows and put the padlock back - the police told me they did that in the hope that I would not notice anything so they had longer to get away," she said.

Police are keen to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident or may have seen or heard anything in the Mill Road area.

Detective Sergeant Colin Norden said: "The victim and her family have been left very upset by what has happened as some of the items were family heirlooms.

"I would appeal to anyone who has any information about the incident, or who may have seen people acting suspiciously in the area, to contact police."

The haul included silver bangles, chains, strings of pearls, earrings, bracelets, rings, four dress watches, three silver and gold bracelet watches, costume jewellery, a tiara, medallions and a brown hairpin with sparkles.

Anyone with information about the burglary should call police on 101 or visit www.contactcambspolice.uk/report.