The fearsome device, which was made specifically to cripple poachers and trespassers, was taken in a raid from Deer Abbey in Mintlaw, near Aberdeen.
Police Scotland said the trap was hanging on the entrance wall of the ruined building and is believed to have been stolen sometime between the afternoon of Tuesday June 14 and the following day.
Bosses at Historic Environment Scotland, which maintains the building, said the theft was “unacceptable”.
Peter McGrath, head of physical security at the organisation, said: “Theft from historic sites, whether on our estate or in the wider historic environment, is unacceptable.
“Acts such as this can cause irreparable damage and mean that we can lose pieces of our past forever.”
Police Scotland are investigating and Inspector Rory Campbell said inquiries in to the theft are “ongoing”.