Mansion nudists file for divorce in bitter split

Abbey House, above, is on the market for �3.5m. Picture: SWNS
Abbey House, above, is on the market for �3.5m. Picture: SWNS
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A COUNTRY manor where the first king of England is said to be buried in the garden is on the market for £3.5 million after it was put up for sale by two nudists amid their bitter divorce.

Abbey House is a 14-bedroom Tudor property set in four and a half acres of grounds and is the home of the so-called Naked Gardeners.

It dates to before the Norman conquest, which began in 1066, and the site has been the abbot’s house for Malmesbury Abbey since Saxon times. It is claimed the first King of England, Athelstan, is buried in the grounds. Former owners included Henry VIII.

The home, in Wiltshire, is owned by naturists Ian and Barbara Pollard, known as Adam and Eve, who created their own “Garden of Eden” on the site. It is a popular wedding venue and tens of thousands of people every year visit the Michelin-starred gardens, which are open seven days a week between March and October.

However, the Pollards, who bought the home from nuns in 1994, are selling up after Mrs Pollard filed for divorce.

Abbey House is on the market for “in excess” of £3.5 million, making it one of the county’s most expensive homes for sale.

The Grade I listed property is predominantly built of stone under render, with a stone slate cross-gable roof. It has stone mullion windows, exposed stonework, impressive fireplaces, solid wood doors and an oak main staircase with feature carved newels.

There is also a 16th century solid oak winder staircase.

Outside, there is a waterfall, river, stone circle, a monk’s grave and the gardens, said to contain the remains of Athelstan, whose body was moved from the abbey to the abbot’s garden to protect it from Viking raiders. Mercian Athelstan was the first king of all England. He reigned between the years 925 and 939.