New home helps inspire Essex author at St Osyth Priory


Stephen and Jacqui Davis were wowed when they discovered St Osyth Priory, City & Country’s exclusive collection of homes situated on an historic country estate on the Essex coast near Colchester. The couple, both in their 60s, saw the signs for the new homes by chance, and fell in love with the development on their first visit.

Stephen, an author, said: “One of our first homes together, 30 years ago, was a very old house in Redbridge. One day Jacqui was pulling some wallpaper down and half the plaster came with it – it was then we realised how fed up we were with older properties, and have had new build homes ever since.

“One day we were driving to Brightlingsea to pick up a cake, when Jacqui spotted the AA signs for St Osyth Priory at the exact same moment I got a notification for the properties on my phone. We figured it was worth checking out, so we made a detour on our way home to take a look. We were blown away.”

Stephen explains that the design of the properties at St Osyth Priory was a huge selling point for them: “There’s a house in Colchester that’s over 200 years old and is a very similar style to the new homes here. The wooden sash windows, the handmade slate roof tiles, the brick chimneys – City & Country has left no stone unturned. We’ve had some lovely new build homes in the past, but nothing compares to this.”

St Osyth Priory is an exclusive collection of 73 new homes ranging from four-bedroom detached family houses to one-bedroom apartments, built within the grounds of the historic St Osyth Priory Estate, moments from the Essex coastline. Securely located within a gated development, the properties feature details such as soft red Flemish-bond brickwork, timber finished weatherboarding, clay roof tiles and purpose-made joinery, showcasing City & Country’s exacting standards and attention to detail. Internally, homes are light-filled and spacious, with a contemporary, high-quality finish.

“There’s a feel to the development that you can’t put into words – and being an author, you’d think I’d be able to find the right ones”, Stephen says. “It’s more than the house, the whole location has a really special feel about it. The Priory has had people living here for more than a thousand years, you’re living and breathing history. The legend of ‘Osyth’ is actually going to make an appearance in my next novel (Back to the Beginning, volume 5 in The Rebecca Chronicles) – it’s inspired me that much to kick start my writing again.”

With a history traceable over 1,400 years, the St Osyth Priory Estate is of national significance. Alongside the Registered Park and Garden, it boasts 16 separate Grade I, Grade II* and Grade II listed buildings and numerous Scheduled Ancient Monuments, creating a truly special environment to call home. City & Country is now developing plans to transform the Estate into a new, mixed-use destination, including holiday accommodation, a wedding and events venue, gastropub, farm shop, café and microbrewery.

Located adjacent to the Colne Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest, the new homes at St Osyth Priory are set within beautiful, historic parkland, where a wide variety of livestock roam, as well as the Estate’s iconic white deer herd and rare breed livestock, such as Hebridean sheep and English Longhorn cattle. Residents can enjoy this parkland via an exclusive circular walk through parts of the Estate and stunning views across the estuary.

Located in the quaint village of St Osyth, homeowners benefit from the best of tranquil, rural village life. St Osyth Beach is less than five miles away, where visitors can see the last of the Martello Towers on this stretch of coast. Close by are Frinton-on-Sea and the bustling town of Colchester, which offers extensive amenities and cultural attractions.

“The whole village has been so welcoming, I had over 200 comments on the Facebook page for the area inviting us to places. There are five different places to get Sunday lunch, two small supermarkets, a brilliant butchers, and a farm shop just a couple of miles up the road. This is the end of our rainbow.”

Prices at St Osyth Priory start from £220,000*


*Price correct at time of publication September 2022