THE former Herbert Lewis building on Chepstow high street has been sold.

It’s the end of an era for Chepstow as one of the few mainstays of the town centre has been sold pending contract.

The store had been on the market since officially closing in September following an extensive closing-down sale.

The building was being marketed through Monmouthshire estate agents Elstons for offers of more than £695,000.

In addition to the location, the site also offered side access as well as a cellar, storage yard and additional outbuilding located in the grounds.

It is unclear who has bought the property at present but speculation about its future use is growing.

As with many of the older buildings in the town centre the most popular theory is that the department store will be converted into apartments but that, of course, remains to be seen. Due to the windowed frontage to the property, another possible use could be as a premises for outlet shops.

The department store with its recognisable clock occupied a prime location in a unique Edwardian Coronation building halfway up Chepstow high street for 140 years.

However, as retail businesses have struggled in recent times due to the recession and its subsequent fallout, it has gone the way of many independent Chepstow stores such as Serendipity.

Founded in 1878 by Herbert Lewis himself, ownership of the store has been passed down through five generations of the same family.

Most recent owner and great-great-granddaughter of founder Herbert Lewis Dee Griffith was appointed managing director in 2004.

She cited “changing shopping habits of consumers” and “a decreased level of spending” as reasons for the store’s eventual closure.

She admitted she thought that it was a “good time to walk away” when she did.