Country houses for sale

A 1,000-year-old medieval monastery that’s been turned into a spectacular riverside home that’s just 50 minutes to London

Character is woven into the fabric and the history of this magnificent property and it's charming grounds.

The Abbey at Coggeshall isn’t your average home — even by the standards of the sort of homes featured in Country Life. It’s a historic former monastic complex of immense character and charm set in 25 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens on the banks of the River Blackwater, less than a mile from the centre of the medieval market town of Coggeshall and 10 miles from Colchester.

With the monks long gone, these days it’s a wonderful family home — one which is for sale via Karl Manning of Savills in Chelmsford who is handling the sale of enchanting, Grade I-listed home at £2.5m.

Originally a Savignac religious house and later a Cistercian abbey until the Dissolution, Coggeshall Abbey and its associated buildings were much altered in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, although the principal house still retains many of its earlier features including 16th-century chimney stacks, oriel windows and the west porch. And other parts — including the chapel, above — are far older still.

The Abbey offers a total of six bedrooms split across the main house and an adjoining one-bedroom cottage, a former monk’s lodgings.

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Other buildings include an entertaining barn/guest house, and the aforementioned consecrated private chapel, which dates from 1162 and — at not far off a thousand years old — is one of the oldest buildings on the site.

Ornate wood panelling features heavily throughout the building, alongside stone arches and some remarkable timbers. Of particular note is the splendid Grand Hall, which overlooks the north-facing lawn.

Among the other highlights are the family room, dining room, library and the kitchen, which enjoys riverside views.

The first-floor accommodation comprises five bedrooms and three bathrooms, all orientated to make the most of the delightful setting.

Two substantial Essex barns and extensive stabling are set around a central courtyard with direct access to a manège.

As for the location? Well, not only is Coggeshall itself a charming little market town, it’s also just off the main A120 (mercifully, there has long been a bypass), close to the main A12 London to Colchester route, and just 50 minutes on the train from central London from the nearby station at Kelvedon.

The Abbey at Coggeshall is for sale at £2.5 million — see more pictures and details.