A MAN has been arrested in connection with the £1million theft of jewels belonging to Mary Queen of Scots.

The man was arrested during a morning raid at a travellers site in Eckington on Tuesday in connection with a burglary at Arundel Castle in Sussex.

The burglary, which happened in May, saw a special set of "irreplaceable" gold rosary beads belonging to the former queen, get stolen.

A spokesman for Arundel Castle Trustees said at the time: "The stolen items have significant monetary value, but as unique artefacts of the Duke of Norfolk's collection have immeasurably greater and priceless historical importance."

Sussex Police said the rosary beads were of little value as metal, but as a piece of the Howard family history and the nation's heritage were "irreplaceable."

In total, the haul of historic treasures is worth more than £1 million, including coronation cups given by Mary to the Earl Marshal.

The rosary beads were carried by Mary Queen of Scots as she went to her execution in 1587 and were on display in the castle which is owned by the Duke of Norfolk.

Yesterday, Sussex Police announced that the 45-year-old man was arrested and remains in custody.

It followed an operation in which officers from three police forces - including West Mercia - executed warrants at addresses in Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.

Seven men were arrested in total, but police have not revealed if any of the Arundel Castle stolen treasures had been recovered.

Detective Inspector Alan Pack, of Sussex Police, said: "Our investigation into the Arundel Castle burglary remains live and this action marks a significant step in our enquiries.

"I would encourage anyone with further information about this burglary to contact us and also remind people that the insurers have offered a substantial reward should any of the property be recovered intact.

"You can also contact us either online or by calling 101, quoting Operation Deuce."

Today, officers have taped off a property in Alvescot Road near Carterton believing it may contain burgled historical items.