A historic landmark in Prince Edward County was partially destroyed this week before a stop-work order halted the demolition.

The entire west wall of the former Methodist Episcopal Church in Picton, Ont. was torn down Sunday, catching many off-guard, including the town's chief building officer.

Ontario's Ministry of Labour has now issued a stop-work order to halt the demolition, even though there's a gaping hole in the building and its structure is now in question.

Although the church has been a landmark on Picton's Main Street since it was built in 1875, it was never given a heritage designation.

The owners of the church, who operated a flea market there, unsuccessfully tried to sell the building.