Yours for £50,000: The idyllic country home with listed status (just don’t mention the working GRAVEYARD in the garden)
This picturesque village church could make the perfect home and appears to be a snip at just £50,000.
But there is one catch … the garden is a working graveyard which will see funerals taking place in the grounds.
Grade II listed St Paul’s Church in Staverton, Wilts., is being sold by the Diocese of Salisbury and bids are invited from developers to convert it into a private home.
It boasts stained glass windows, a nave and vestry, and is listed as being of Special Architectural and Historic Interest along with its iron churchyard gates.
The 13th century building closed its doors to the congregation in March 2011 because of dwindling parishioner numbers and a dilapidated structure.
Whoever buys the building will not own the graves – and will have to allow mourners to visit the headstones and allow for the burial of people who have already reserved plots.
Estate agent Colliers International is handling the sale and expects the building to go for around £50,000.
Spokesman Sam Williams said: “It would not be their responsibility to maintain the churchyard itself, but it would have to remain open for those attending the graves.
“I think there will still be a few more burials at the church. It is near capacity, but there are still a few plots which have been reserved.
“I don’t think people will really mind the graveyard. Of course it is not to everyone’s taste, but it is up to people’s own preference.
“The sale would not come with the church yard, but they would get a 1.5 metre strip around the building.
“I think it would make a good community use for the village, but also it would make an ideal house, but a sensitive house which would not involve too much alteration to the interior.
“The new owners will have to abide by the covenants – just generally promising to maintain the building and keeping it in good repair.”
However, potential buyers have been slow in coming forward because of the unusual nature of the building.
The cemetery outside St Paul’s is just over half an acre and contains 200 graves. It has ten spare plots left.
“We have had interest, a little bit, but unfortunately so far people haven’t been able to follow it through,” said Mr Williams.
“It is quite a big challenge. It’s quite a long process buying it, and it is quite difficult to find the right buyer who has the patience.”
Rev Stephen Ball, the priest in charge of the church, said: “It is all unknown at the moment. Until we get all the proposals in we won’t have any idea of its use.
“All I want to see is the people who care about the church be happy about what happens next, and a use for it that will conserve the building and recognise it has been a special place for a lot of people.”
Anyone interested in purchasing the church can call Colliers International on 0117 917 2000.