Country houses for sale

An elegant Cornish abbey being sold by one of iconic supermodels of the 1960s

Grade ll-listed The Abbey stands high above the harbour in Penzance looking across to St Michael’s Mount.

In Cornwall — nearly as far west as you can go — one of Penzance’s most striking landmarks is for sale. Grade ll-listed The Abbey, which stands high above the harbour looking across to St Michael’s Mount, has since 1979 been the home of 1960s supermodel Jean Shrimpton and her husband, Michael Cox.

It is now for sale through Warwickshire-based agents Pritchard & Company at a guide price of £1.95m.

The Abbey was run initially as an acclaimed boutique hotel with a country-house feel and, latterly, as a luxury self-catering property; the group of three Grade II-listed properties comprising the historic main house and its attached self-contained apartments.

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The original building dates from about 1660, when the Spanish raided nearby Newlyn, Mousehole and Paul; it was subsequently rebuilt before being gentrified in the distinctive Georgian Gothic style in 1820, when the drawing room was added.

It is thought that it may have been associated with the abbey on St Michael’s Mount and possibly used as a pied-à-terre for monks when the sea was too rough to make the crossing to the Mount. The Abbey remained in private hands until after the Second World War, when it became a hotel.

The main house offers more than 4,600sq ft of colourful living space on three floors including two principal reception rooms, six bedrooms and six bathrooms, with a further reception room, bedroom and bathroom in the adjoining ground-floor apartment, known as The Slipway, and a reception room, two bedrooms and a bathroom in the Mount View apartment on the floor above.

A hidden treasure is the private walled garden, where granite rock walls provide structure and thoughtful planting and landscaping are laid out with artistic aplomb.

Selling agent Robert Pritchard comments: ‘Although the Abbey has been a former hotel and more recently used for holiday lets, the building is generally domestic in its purpose.

‘Having the property split into three elements provides scope for multiple alternative uses, such as a private dwelling with an income, an art gallery, a company headquarters or a high-end guest house’.

The Abbey is listed with Pritchard & Company at a guide price of £1.95m.