A HISTORIC building near Maldon has been put on the market for a seven-figure sum after being privately owned for more than eight decades.

The Beeleigh Abbey estate, located one mile from Maldon, is up for sale for more than £5M, after being privately owned for 81 years.

Founded in approximately 1170 by Robert Mantell, Lord of the Manor of Little Maldon, the Abbey was originally built as a monastery for the White Canons.

Beeleigh Abbey was one of the 34 Norbertine monasteries in England, before it was seized in June 1536.

In the years that followed, the building was used as a farmhouse, pub and country residence before being bought by, owners of the bookshop chain Foyles, the Foyle family.

The listing says  Beeleigh Abbey remains in a "wonderful condition" and remains "true to its majestic history".

Maldon councillor and historian, Stephen Nunn, spoke on the sale of the Abbey.

He said: "I’ve known the abbey all my life.

"I was privileged to be the house guide for three seasons, and it's very sad that the property is now on the market and that it will be leaving the Foyle family,

"It’s a worrying time but I hope that a sympathetic buyer will be found and that the abbey will continue to be an important part of Maldon’s heritage – like it has been since the 12th century."

The estate itself measures more than 35 acres, including gardens, woodlands and wetland, a barn and outbuildings and a cottage – as well as the Abbey itself.

The Abbey is located one mile from Maldon’s town centre, eight miles from Chelmsford’s city centre and has a rail link to London Liverpool Street Station – estimated at a journey time of 30 minutes.

The Beeleigh Abbey estate is listed at £5.45M, following an award-winning restoration on the building and surrounding gardens by Christopher Foyle, before his death, in 2022.

For more information on the listing of Beeleigh Abbey, visit www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/149412923