A Delightful Home That Needs Saving In The Kent Downs, Surrounded By The Ruins Of A Medieval Monastery

A mile-long medieval wall and endless charm are part of the attraction at Boxley Abbey in Kent. Penny Churchill tells all.

The lure of a medieval ruin is always strong, but especially so when it’s a former abbey, and accompanied by more practical accommodation. And that’s what is up for sale in the rolling countryside of the Kent Downs AONB with Boxley Abbey. It’s currently for sale through the Canterbury office of Strutt & Parker at a guide price of £2.25m.

There’s no denying the monastic credentials of this Grade II*-listed house near Maidstone: a medieval abbey precinct of more than 21 acres that surrounds the present Boxley Abbey House, with a mile-long medieval wall, one which is at most point draped beautifully in the plant life that has tried to reclaim it over the centuries.

Boxley Abbey House itself would be a magnificent country home even without this setting, albeit one which now needs renovation. The internal pictures here give a fair account of what you’re looking at: much to be done, but there is huge charm and all sorts of character features.

The work appears to be nothing too concerning, though and the bones of the property are just what you’d hope: it provides 5,107sq ft of pleasant family living-space in the main house, including four reception rooms and a kitchen/breakfast room.

There are seven bedrooms and three bathrooms, with further accommodation in the three-bedroom south wing and the two-bedroom Boxley Abbey Cottage.

According to its listing, the house incorporates part of the west range of the once-great Cistercian monastery, founded in 1146 and dissolved in 1538.

In recent years, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) and Historic England have done much to help preserve this important site, notably the magnificent, Grade I-listed 12th-/14th-century barn, originally the abbey hospitium or guest house, which was restored and re-roofed in 2012.

After the Dissolution, the property passed to the politician and poet Sir Thomas Wyatt, who built a large Tudor house among the abbey ruins.

Recommended videos for you That house was much reduced in size in about 1820, when it acquired its present Queen Anne appearance; the south wing was added about 100 years ago, when extensive, mostly walled gardens were established in the ruins of the abbey cloisters and buildings.

Since 1890, Boxley Abbey has been owned by the Best-Shaw family, who lived elsewhere on the estate before moving to the present house after the Second World War.

Boxley Abbey House is for sale via Strutt & Parker at a guide price of £2.25m — see more details and pictures.

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