A Cornish chapel which collapsed last week had been on sale for £1 to anyone wanting to use it as a place of religious worship, it has emerged.
Demolition teams have moved in to clear the site of the disused Castle Street chapel in Launceston, which collapsed overnight on Thursday.
But despite the best efforts of Cornwall Council and private contractors working for the owners, hopes that the building will be saved and rebuilt remain slim.
Kevin Hicks, from estate agents Kivells, represents owners Launceston Congregational Church – a group of independent worshippers similar in their outlook to the Methodist Church.
Mr Hicks said the site was now safe from further falling masonry and slates, but the chapel was a long way from being saved. He also revealed that the 19th-century building had recently been available to religious groups for a nominal fee but that there had been no takers.
"We have been trying to find alternative uses for it for 18 months – a religious group was going to buy it for £1 but they decided not to proceed," he added.
The building was left in a dangerous state after the roof fell in the early hours of Thursday, scattering debris across the street. The fire service searched the listed building using a rescue dog, but nobody was found trapped in the rubble.
Two houses across the road were deemed vulnerable to further collapses and residents were told to stay out of the front of their properties.
Over the weekend, a "swing shovel" moved in to clear the site and protective barriers were placed to protect the two homes. Contractors were surprised to find that the only wall left standing was a concrete block structure, added during the 20th century.
Mr Hicks added: "There is still quite a lot of the building left, but the parts which Building Control were concerned about have been made safe.
"It is too early to be sure, but it is difficult to see the building being saved."