Church under the hammer

A CHURCH which was auctioned from its own pulpit is to be developed into a family home.

Dating back to 1857, St Mary’s at Felton, received more than 1,400 hits on sales agent Goerge F White’s website prior to last week’s auction.

And 35 potential buyers made thie rbids from the church pews.

Bidding began at £100,000 increasing in £10,000 increments until it reached £150,000 and then in £5,000 bids until the gavel went down to mark the final sale at £170,000.

The church will now be developed into a unique four bedroom family home by its new owners.

Richard Garland partner and head of planning at Geore F White said: “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.