A community of Benedictine nuns and monks are to sell their historic home in Burford - and it's a steal at a guide price of £6.5m.

Burford Priory is a Grade I listed building, sitting in 16 acres of gardens. The nuns and monks have lived there, only yards from the town's busy High Street, since 1987.

Now, it is set to Become the perfect home for anyone looking for a Jacobean mansion, with its own chapel and gardens with sweeping views over the Windrush Valley.

The nuns arrived first in 1949, when the Society of the Salutation of Mary the Virgin, a community of Anglican nuns, bought the Priory.

But by the 1980s their numbers had dwindled from about 20 to just six, with the small group of ageing sisters struggling with the work required to maintain the manor house and its gardens.

So in 1987, the Noviciate was opened to men and they were joined by a small community of monks, who arrived to embrace the simplicity of Benedictine life.

Abbot Stuart Burns said: "This has been a long and careful decision for our community to make.

"But the decision marks a new chapter in our history and we're looking forward to welcoming visitors to our new home in the very near future."

It is understood the community is looking for a new home within 100 miles of Burford.

But it is unlikely to match the priory for splendour or history.

The site is referred to in documents dating back to 1226, when it was given to the Hospital of St John the Evangelist by King Henry III.

At the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the building was granted by Henry VIII to his barber surgeon, Edmund Harman.

Visitors have included James I, Charles II, during a trip to Burford Races, and William III.

Damian Gray, of estate agents Knight Frank, said: "It's not a question of the community wanting to find somewhere smaller.

"They're just looking to the future and are ready to recreate their monastic life somewhere else. The nuns and monks are looking to remain together as a mixed community."

The idea of double communities was acceptable up to and including the Middle Ages, with some of the great abbeys containing both nuns and monks.

Burford Priory consists of three properties. The Grade I listed house is largely Jacobean in style.

Joined to the priory by an ornate link is the Chapel of St John, a Grade II listed building. To the east is the Old Rectory, a 17th century former Parsonage House and a cottage.

Many of the sisters who spent their last years in Burford are buried in a small graveyard in the grounds.