Rare chance to rent historic home on site of former Norfolk abbey

17th century period property with large shingle driveway in front, large trees, blue cloudy sky

The property is Grade II* listed - Credit: Brown & Co

An unusual house located on a site of historic interest in the Norfolk countryside has become available to rent for £1,950 per month.

The Priest House dates back to the 17th century and is located within the grounds of the former St Mary's Abbey, near the village of West Dereham. 

According to Historic England, the abbey was founded in 1188 by Hubert Walter, Dean of York, as a 'daughter house' of Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, and by the late 13th century, it was among the larger and wealthier of religious houses in Norfolk, with up to 26 canons.

Large country house in the middle of the Norfolk countryside with blue skies and flat fields beyond

The Priest House is set in parkland-style grounds near West Dereham - Credit: Brown & Co

Large reception room with wood-effect floor, feature fireplace and high ceilings plus exposed brick wall

Due to its age the property offers well-proportioned living spaces with high ceilings - Credit: Brown & Co

Large period-style reception room with huge ceilings, exposed brick, wood-effect floor and hanging chandelier

Inside one of three huge reception rooms at The Priest House, near West Dereham, which is available to rent - Credit: Brown & Co

Scullery-style utility room with pantile floor, oval shaped wooden door, white butler sink

Inside the utility space - Credit: Brown & Co

Following the Dissolution in 1539, Henry VIII granted the site and its land to Thomas Dereham of Crimplesham. 

Almost all the abbey buildings have been demolished, although the foundations still remain buried underground, and can still be seen on aerial photographs.

A house was built on the site of the abbey in the latter part of the 16th century and extended in the 1690s by Sir Thomas Dereham, who is thought to have taken inspiration from his time in Italy. Although it was largely demolished around 1810, the remaining part was converted into a farmhouse, which has since been restored.

Brown & Co, now letting the three-bedroom property on the site, describe it as an "outstanding and unusual detached property" which is Grade II* listed. It is set in a parkland-style setting, surrounded by around 50 acres of established paddocks and pastures and accessed by a private road.

Though the land is not included in the rental price, there is potential for some grazing and stabling to be available, subject to a separate letting agreement.

Long inner hall leading to a front door with glass window, stone floors

The property dates back to the 17th century and is Grade II* listed - Credit: Brown & Co

Large light-filled landing with beige carpet and wooden balustrade and staircase leading down

At the top of the landing at The Priest House, near West Dereham - Credit: Brown & Co

Fitted bathroom with panelled bath and shower screen, pedestal basin, white toilet and tiled floor

Inside one of two bathrooms at this 'unusual' period house to rent - Credit: Brown & Co

Side of 17th century period property overlooking parkland with trees in the distance and blue skies

The three-bed property, which dates back to the 17th century, and has been renovated, sits in parkland-style grounds - Credit: Brown & Co

Due to its age, the property offers large proportioned living spaces, which include a drawing room with a huge open fireplace, a dining room with an oak floor and a kitchen/breakfast room complete with an integrated electric cooker and dishwasher, all on the ground floor.

There is also a separate utility room and a cloakroom.

Upstairs there are two good-sized bedrooms, including a master with en suite bathroom, and a family bathroom with panelled bath and a separate shower cubicle.

A separate set of stairs connects the kitchen/breakfast room to the first floor and leads to a potential third bedroom, although it would also make an ideal study.

Outside, the property is surrounded by a shingled driveway and parking area, with mature trees and areas of grass.

The property is available unfurnished and on a long-term let.

West Dereham Road, King's Lynn
£1,950 per month
Brown & Co, 01553 403113, www.brown-co.com

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