A  former Methodist church was the star performer at a recent property auction staged by Greenslade Taylor Hunt when it smashed its guide price.

More than 200 people received the details for Ashreigney Methodist Church, near Chulmleigh, Devon, and nearly 40 prospective purchasers viewed the rural property.

On auction day at The Shrubbery Hotel, Ilminster, Somerset, there were three registered telephone bidders and a large attendance in the auction room for the imposing disused church.

The auctioneers had quoted a guide price of £125,000 for the substantial building, which occupies an outstanding rural position with lovely views.

Bidding began briskly at £140,000 before climbing to £240,000 when a room bidder secured the purchase.

Richard Webber MRICS, Partner at the South Molton branch of Greenslade Taylor Hunt, who oversaw the sale, said: “It’s a fantastic building and it generated a tremendous level of interest.”

He added that a property auction was the perfect place to market such a unique property and to achieve the optimal price.

“The building may be suitable for conversion to a variety of alternative uses, subject of course to obtaining appropriate planning consent,” said Mr Webber.

The church was built 111 years ago by public subscription – stones carved into the building record the names of benefactors.

Known as ‘Zion on the Hill’, the imposing church has served the villages of Ashreigney and Riddlescombe for generations.

Now the congregation has declined and the large church, with seating for 400, is surplus to requirements.  It closed in the Autumn of 2017 and the congregation now meets in Ashreigney Village Hall.