Property Purchase from the Pulpit
August 24th saw one of Northumberland’s more unusual properties sales when the former St. Mary’s Church in the rural village of Felton was sold from its own pulpit for £170,000.
Interest in the property has been high with over 1400 hits on the website of Sales Agent George F. White and extensive coverage in the local media. George White himself was the auctioneer on the night with 35 potential buyers making their bids from the former church pews. The bidding began at £100,000 increasing in £10,000 increments until it reached £150,000 and then in £5000 bids until the gavel went down to mark the final sale at £170,000.
Dating from 1857, the church will now be developed into a unique four bedroom family home by its new owners. Unlike many listed buildings the church already comes with full planning permission and listed building consent which was arranged by Richard Garland, Partner and Head of Planning at George F. White prior to the sale.
Richard explains, “This is a wonderful opportunity for the new owners to preserve this important piece of Northumberland history. They now have the challenge of preserving its original features including stained glass windows, stone carved corbels, gargoyles and angels while allowing as much light as possible into the building as possible and maximising the living space.”
Once complete, the conversion will incorporate an additional mezzanine floor and an entrance hall, double height living room and dining room, kitchen with utility room, cloakroom, four bedrooms and a family bathroom. The original crypt will provide extra storage space.
St. Mary’s Church Felton was originally built as a private place of worship for the Thomas Riddell family and was formerly known as the Roman Catholic Church of St. Mary. Its architect Gilbert Blount was responsible for the design of many churches during the resurgence of Catholic church building in the 19th century including Our Lady and St. Catherine of Siena Church in London. Now empty the church, which has no graveyard was deconsecrated some time ago with this sale ensuring its preservation.