A FORMER church hall that was used by prisoners of war has sold at auction for more than £200,000.

Forest Hall in Dodds Bottom, Nutley, went under the auctioneers gavel on Wednesday 9.

The historic hall, in part of Ashdown Forest near Uckfield, sold for £201,500.

It was one of a number of buildings to sell at an auction held by Clive Emson Land and Property.

Auction appraiser Chris Milne said: “Although we are not aware of the purchaser’s intentions, we do know that they have bought a slice of East Sussex history.

“This hall was used for worship for more than 100 years and the property is now set to have a new lease of life.”

The hall was first used in 1897 after a religious bought the land where it stands for ten shillings, 50p now.

After the second world war, German Prisoners of War, situated at nearby Chapel Wood, attended gospel meetings there.

They were lead by Eastbourne man Ransom Cooper, who spoke fluent German.

At one of the Christmas meetings in 1946 they sang carols in their native tongue.

The hall is a detached single-storey building is of brick construction with oil-fired heating and uPVC double glazed windows and is situated just off the A22.

It comprises a main hall, kitchens and toilets.

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It was just one of 102 lots sold, with a mixed use property in Southwick, also selling for over £200,000.

A detached two-storey in The Gardens, Southwick, went for £260,000.

The ground floor of the building is occupied by Adur Express Convenience Store on a 20-year lease with five-yearly rent reviews from October, 12 2021 at a passing rent of £20,800 per annum.

Both of the one-bedroom flats on the first floor are sold on 125-year leases, each at a current ground rental of £150 per annum.

Senior auction appraiser and auctioneer Richard Payne said: “We had strong interest in this property which we considered ideal for continued investment – and which led to competitive bidding.

“The attraction was clear - the property generates a good income of £21,100 per annum with a solid commercial tenant on a long lease and the building occupies a prominent corner location on a junction of the main A259 coastal link road.”

The next auction, the second of the year, ends on Wednesday 23 March. See https://www.cliveemson.co.uk for more details.