The 600-year-old home with graves in the garden

The church from the front
The church from the front

A six-hundred-year-old home in Essex crammed with original features has come on the market, with just one catch - it's surrounded by graves.

St Mary's church in Pattiswick was converted into a house in 1991, and is now a stunning three-bedroom home. Built some time during the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries, the church had a belfry added in the fifteenth century and a north vestry and organ chamber built on in 1881.

And it still has many original features, including a cross beam in the nave roof with an octagonal crown post, huge stained glass windows and a lectern with an 1877 Bible that contains the names of parishioners killed in both world wars.

"As part of the 1991 refurbishment the existing owners re-laid the encaustic tiles from the aisle within the entrance hall. The organ loft, with barrel vaulted ceiling, was converted into the kitchen and has a range of fitted wall and base units," say agents Strutt & Parker.

"Beyond there is a separate utility room providing further storage, a separate boiler cupboard and a housemaid's cupboard. Raised floors were constructed throughout the ground floor, except the kitchen area, to improve the views through the windows. The pulpit was also raised."

See also: Seven houses that are completely divine - in more ways than one

See also: A property with a grave downside

The huge reception room
The huge reception room

The ground floor now consists of a living/dining room that's getting on for 50 feet long, with a hall, large office and good-sized kitchen with utility and downstairs loo.

Upstairs is a large master suite, along with two smallish bedrooms and a family bathroom. In a rather unexpected touch, a ladder from the master bedroom leads to a secret balcony.

The rear view of the house, showing the graveyard
The rear view of the house, showing the graveyard

Outside, a garden has been created to the front - but while the gravestones have been moved, the graves are still there. At the back of the property, the graveyard still belongs to the Church of England, and the gravestones there are still in place. But if this doesn't put you off - and the garden is really very lovely - then the place can be yours for £700,000.

Churches come on the market reasonably regularly: the Church of England sells or rents out around 20 a year. Plenty have already been converted into homes; indeed, we looked at some just a few weeks ago. But if you'd like to take one on and convert it from scratch, there's more information here.

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