Published: 14:34, 10 October 2019
| Updated: 14:35, 10 October 2019
A historic grange once used as a rural retreat for monks and later the setting for hundreds of weddings is on the market for £1.5 million.
Salmestone Grange in Margate, which held its final marriage this summer, has been put up for sale by owners the Whelan family.
The Grade II listed property, one of Kent's most sought-after wedding venues, was bought by former county councillor William Whelan in 1984, but his wife Angela says it is time for the "next chapter" after his death in August 2015 following a 10-year battle with Parkinson's disease.
In January, after announcing the family's intention to stop hosting weddings at the 14th century site, Mrs Whelan said they had not decided whether or not to sell up.
But the property, which has been closed to the public since June, has now been put on the market, with a price tag of £1.5 million.
Described as an "intriguing and magnificent building with potential", the grange in Nash Road offers potential buyers four self-contained apartments, a banqueting hall, a chapel, cloistered gardens, ancient undercroft and a ceremony room.
Estate agent Strutt and Parker, which is marketing the historic property, says it has altered over the centuries but retains "a very special quality and a feeling of peace and tranquillity".
Mrs Whelan and family took the reins of the venue following her husband's death aged 77.
Mr Whelan represented Margate East as a Kent county councillor for 12 years, and was chairman of North Thanet Conservative Association.
After buying Salmestone Grange, which boasts a chapel consecrated in 1326, he spent the following 30 years making the former monks' retreat into one of the county's most beloved venues.
Mr and Mrs Whelan met in Margate in 1993 and married at the grange in 1996.
Speaking earlier this year, Mrs Whelan admitted they had had a blast and would miss it dearly.
"But the time has come to move on," she said.
"My children have been involved for a number of years and it is time they moved on to other things.
"I am not getting any younger either and I might like to take some holidays."
For more information see www.struttandparker.com/properties/nash-road
More by this authorMarijke Hall