Bromley Council has revealed plans to sell off the Priory building in Orpington - home to the borough’s museum.

The grade II listed medieval building, the oldest in the borough, would be put up for sale later this year, according to a council meeting agenda report.

Museum exhibitions would be relocated to Bromley Central Library with an expert removal and handling company hired to transport the artefacts.

Two museum employees risk redundancy and new exhibitions at the library would be unstaffed, according to the report titled 'A New Approach to Bromley Museum'.

Hundreds of parents and teachers from Bromley borough schools signed a petition asking the council to reconsider if there were plans to close the museum in Church Hill, in December.

Teacher at Perry Hall Primary School in Orpington, Gill Hughes, launched the petition after the council warned it must axe some services under a tough financial squeeze.

The 57-year-old history subject leader told News Shopper: "I am really disappointed. Who is going to provide the education services for the children?

"The national curriculum has a focus on local history. What is going to happen to that?

"What legacy are Bromley Council leaving for the children who are growing up? That is the oldest building in Bromley."

The museum is home to around 20,000 artefacts including the nationally recognised Lubbock Collection.

Orpington councillors have received letters from local primary school pupils supporting the museum but are said to have reluctantly accepted its closure.

The public car park in front of the building along with land to the rear and side would also be sold, under the proposals.

Phil Waller, of the Orpington History Organisation, said: "The Museum Staff have done a fantastic job in quite challenging situations over the years.

"The work with schools and the local community would be sorely missed."

The 40-year-old lifelong Orpington resident said securing the Priory during the transition period if it was sold would be vital.

He said: "The Priory is often overlooked but it is a very important historic building. Some of it is nearly 700 years old.

"It is vulnerable to weather and vandalism."

A proportion of the money raised from the Priory’s sale would be reinvested in the borough’s heritage offer.

A Bromley Council spokesperson said: "The difficult decision is being considered to close the Priory building in Orpington as part of the review of every Council service in order to make essential savings from our ongoing budget and consultation is underway.  

"The Council is committed to conserving heritage across the borough and we are investigating some exciting options to reconfigure and continue the Museum in Bromley Central Library, providing access in the heart of the borough which we will keep residents and interested parties informed about in due course."

The agenda report states the museum currently receives 19,000 visitors annually but would benefit from an extra 181,000 visitors per year if the artefacts were housed in Central Library.

The museum is thought to no longer provide value for money with a cost of £8 per visit to the council.

The report recommends the council’s executive endorses the museum’s closure at a meeting on February 11 subject to any issues that may arise following a meeting held next week.

Questions from the public attending the meeting at the Civic Centre at 7pm on January 29 must be submitted in writing to the council's Democratic Services Team by 5pm on Friday (January 23).

You can view the full report here.