The estate surrounding of one of the most historic ruins in Durham has gone up for sale - with offers being accepted "in excess of £5,500,000."

Finchale Abbey Residential Village and Touring Park is an established family-owned caravan park situated on the banks of the River Wear, only four miles from Durham City. 

Set amongst the picturesque backdrop of Finchale Priory, a 13th-century former Priory and outpost of nearby Durham Cathedral, the site has now gone up for sale with estate agent Knight Frank. 

The ruins themselves are not up for sale and the abbey will remain open as usual.

The caravan park, glamping pods, residential pitches, tearoom, and holiday home, as well as 211 acres of fields and woodland, are part of the multi-million-pound deal. 

The Northern Echo:

Finchale Priory, sometimes also referred to as Finchale Abbey, dates from 1169, and acted as an outpost for the nearby Durham Cathedral.

The Grade One listed building is currently open to the public and is a favourite day out for those in County Durham and beyond. 

A spokesperson from English Heritage confirmed that their organisation would continue to manage the historic priory, but could not say if the privately owned caravan park and tearoom would remain open.

Prospective buyers could get their hands on: 

  • 211 acres (85.51 hectares) of Grade 3 agricultural land, comprising Arable, permanent pasture and Woodland including full sporting rights. 
  • 81 Residential Pitches, of which 66 are occupied and asset management potential to develop the remaining 15 plots. 
  • 41 touring pitches and two glamping pods with associated facilities. 
  • Three-bedroom holiday apartment and established onsite café. 

Finchale Priory owes its 855-year-long history to St Godric, a colourful figure born about 1070 who, after years of travel as a sailor, merchant and pilgrim, felt called to the solitary life.

He settled at Finchale, near to the recently established Durham Cathedral and city, where he lived to the ripe old age of about 100.

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Some 25 years after his death, his hermitage became a priory, and by the mid-14th century this was serving as a holiday home for monks from Finchale’s parent monastery, Durham.  

The priory was disestablished in 1535, when many of the lesser monasteries were dissolved. 

The estate of Finchale Abbey has belonged to the same family since 1951. Initially used as a dairy farm, with a small field for holiday caravans, the family grew the touring park into the venture it is today.