AN HISTORIC pub, believed to be 400-years-old, will soon be sold off at auction, it has been revealed.

The Barge Pub, High Road, Pitsea, has a starting price of £200,000...with potential for future development.

The pub has been empty for four years after it shut suddenly in 2015.

The advert listed on Rightmove by estate agents Savills states: “To be sold by public action on Monday, September 23.

“Of interest to developers.

“Located close to the centre of Basildon, a large corner building with car parking area forming part of a rectangular site with further development potential subject to the requisite consents.”

The news of the potential sale has been met with sadness that the town will soon lose a part of its history.

Vin Harrop, 82, a historian who lives in Billericay said: “The building certainly is iconic and we should be doing something to save it.

“But it seems these days nobody wants to save our old buildings.

“I think it’s a great shame for Pitsea and I think the area does need to keep some of its old buildings.

“I would like to see some sort of community space at the site, but I am unsure exactly what or who would pay for it.

“I do have concerns over any possible development there, especially flats I don’t think the site would lend itself well to a block of flats.”

Residents living nearby have echoed Mr Harrop’s worries.

Margaret Davis, 70, of Polsteads, Vange, said: “I remember going to this pub and they used to hold great events there.

“It’s such a shame that nobody has come forward to take it over, I’d like to see it reopen as a pub.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they knock it down and build a huge block of flats there and I think that would ruin the area.

“I think we do need something there but don’t want to see flats or homes.

“It could make a nice site for a community centre for groups and organisations.”

Kevin Burton, 40, of Ramsay Drive, Vange, added: “It’s such a loss to the community, but if no-one wants it I guess there’s no option.

“I would like to see shops or maybe even a restaurant work there.”

The pub had been operating at the site for 200 years prior to its closure, but Mr Harrop, believes the building could be up to 400-years-old.

Savills was contacted for comment.