Two former mortuaries auctioned for £56,000

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Media captionThe 19th Century Grade II-listed former mortuaries saw final bids of £26,000 and £30,000

Two former mortuaries in Devon have been auctioned for £56,000.

The late 19th Century buildings, the East Mortuary and the West Mortuary, in the grounds of what was Exeter's Digby Hospital, had guide prices of just £5,000 and £10,000 respectively.

The morbid history of the Grade II structures did not put off buyers, and there was "a lot of interest", auctioneers said.

The East building went for £26,000, and bidding for the West reached £30,000.

Auctioneer Andrew Jarrold said he had "never come across something as extraordinary as these".

Although most of the rest of the hospital buildings had been converted into homes, the mortuaries had been abandoned for about 25 years.

Neither of the buildings, which have floor spaces of about 19 sq m and 28 sq m and were sold on Wednesday afternoon, have recent planning consent for change of use.

But Mr Jarrold said that, despite this, "there was a great number of phone calls, and estates agents had huge numbers of people to take round".

"They were appealing to buyers looking for quirky premises to perhaps convert into a gym, library, study, office or even an art studio."

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