Founded in around 1220, the Priory was a place for an order of Augustinian monks to reside for over 300 years. However, it fell victim to the Dissolution of the Monasteries decreed by Henry VIII in 1536. The foundations of the building still remain today. The property was granted to Richard Rich, the Earl of Warwick.
The grand redbrick mansion was built soon after King Henry's predations, constructed using materials from the original Priory, and it gained repute as one of the greatest Tudor mansions in Essex. Many noblemen and royalty visited the house, including Queen Elizabeth I, enjoying Leez Priory for its sheer tranquillity.