Victorian chapel and bat roost in the North York Moors National Park for sale for just £30,000
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Hartoft Primitive Methodist Chapel, near Pickering in the North York Moors National Park, shut following the harvest services last autumn as there were no longer any local worshippers able to maintain the tiny building, which holds just 40 people.
It has no electricity or mains water, and bats roost in the attic. It was built in 1865 to serve a small farming community. Following the deaths of several stalwart members of the congregation who cleaned and cared for the chapel, and dwindling numbers attending services, it was deemed unviable by the Ryedale Methodist Circuit, who have put it up for sale.
It is being marketed by Pickering estate agents Peter Illingworth, and still has wooden pews and a pulpit inside.
Prospective buyers have been warned that the National Park Authority has strict planning conditions for building conversions that are not for community use, a process described as ‘quite onerous’ in the sale brochure.
Local resident Nicky Johnson said: “There have long been pipistrelle bats accessing the roof void and attic of the chapel through a damaged air vent on the lane-side gable end. We have watched them popping in and out of the gap, from early spring until late autumn, for many years. They like to hunt along the edge of the forestry opposite and along the laneside.
"The National Park are keen on pushing 'community use' rather than conversion for anything else for an asset like this. If anyone had £30,000 to spare, we would love to 'adopt' the building as a human and bat haven!”