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Colne Priory, Essex
Photograph: Strutt & Parker

Now for sale: this lush countryside estate that once, maybe, belonged to Shakespeare

Colne Priory in Essex is an enormous estate with a Grade II-listed mansion and tenuous links to the Bard

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham
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Here’s one for the history books: an estate that maybe, sort of, possibly belonged to William Shakespeare has gone on the market. That’s right, you could own a home once graced by none other than the big man Shaka P, arguably the most influential dude in the entire English language. Not bad, eh?

The property in question is called Colne Priory and it’s in the village of Earls Colne in Essex, around 20 minutes’ drive from Colchester. Set over 24 acres, the current building isn’t the same one that was, maybe, home to Shakespeare. The current mansion was built in the early 1800s, though it’s still a Grade II-listed pad. 

Now, we should add that there are some exceptionally ambitious leaps of faith required to believe that Colne Priory was actually owned by Shakespeare. For starters, you’ll have to believe the – popular but widely discredited – theory that the real author of much of Shakespeare’s work was a guy called Edward de Vere, who owned Colne Priory until 1583. So, in other words, no, this place almost certainly wasn’t owned by the actual Shakespeare.

But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s still a pretty nice pad. Colne comes with a tennis court, orangery, swimming pool, two conservatories, an aircraft hangar and its own orchid garden. As well as being a properly historic abode, it’s also kitted out with modern stuff like underfloor heating, CCTV and a gym. 

In terms of practical stuff, Colne has seven bedrooms, six receptions and seven bathrooms. Here are a few pictures of the building and its surrounding grounds.

Colne Priory, Essex
Photograph: Strutt & Parker
Colne Priory, Essex
Photograph: Strutt & Parker
Colne Priory, Essex
Photograph: Strutt & Parker

All this, obviously, doesn’t come cheap. Colne Priory is being sold by Strutt & Parker with a guide price of £7 million ($8.5 million). For more info or to request a viewing, see the property listing here.

ICYMI: the Kray twins’ country mansion (where a body was once found) has just hit the market.

Plus: this spectacular Grand Designs property on the Devon coast is now for sale

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