English View: The Nunnery In Eden Valley, Cumbria

An exquisite private estate in the Cumbrian countryside — complete with fabulous interiors and secret waterfalls in the grounds .

The Nunnery is — as the name suggests — a former Benedictine Nunnery that has been the recipient of years of renovation works, transforming the historic property into a breathtaking, spacious home. Penny Churchill reports.

Cumbria’s glorious Eden Valley has been well-named and the setting for imposing, Grade I-listed The Nunnery at Staffield, 10 miles from Penrith, on the fringes of the Lake District National Park, is typical of the area, with traditional livestock farms and rolling grassland falling away to the River Eden, against a distant backdrop of dark, moody fells.

The former country-house hotel, set in almost 52 acres of wonderfully private park and woodland close to the village of Kirkoswald, has been beautifully renovated, remodelled and extended by its present owners who acquired it in a fairly run-down state in the early 2000s.

Although the origins of The Nunnery can be traced to a mid-13th-century Benedictine nunnery, according to Country Life (November 23, 2000), the present ‘plain but imposing red sandstone house’ was built by Henry Aglionby in 1718.

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