A PIECE of Milford Haven history has been sold to a private bidder, the Milford Mercury can reveal.

St Thomas a Beckett Chapel, on the Rath, dates back to 1180 and was put on the market by the Church in Wales for offers in the region of £150,000.

The purchase includes The Lodge, a three bedroom property next to the chapel descibed as ‘a unique opportunity to acquire an arts and crafts style dwelling with many retained features’.

Diocese of St Davids communications officer David Hammond-Williams told the Mercury: “I can confirm that the diocese has received and accepted an offer from a private individual to buy the St Thomas a Beckett Chapel; as a charity we are obliged to accept the highest offer we receive.

“However, the building has been held in trust and the proceeds of the sale will go entirely towards the maintenance and upkeep of St Katherine and St Peter’s Church.

“The chapel is a grade two listed building, a status which places significant restrictions on development with which the owners will have to comply.”

Milford Haven mayor Cllr Guy Woodham said the chapel held huge historical significance and many in the town had not been made aware it was even up for sale.

“I can’t help but feel it has been done secretively and an opportunity to do something has been denied.

“I hope, whatever happens, it is accessible to the public and isn’t left to fall further into disrepair,” he said.

Resident Sonia Dudley said: “This is the history of Milford Haven and should be enjoyed by future generations.

What has Milford Haven got to offer if these pieces of history are sold off?”

Cllr Woodham said the sale would also mean by law the chapel’s altar and font would have to be removed.

Mr Hammond-Williams added: “The diocesan Parsonage Board has agreed that the St Katherine’s Vicarage is to be sold. However, they are actively seeking alternative premises and the diocese is also actively seeking to recruit a new incumbent for the parish.”

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