AS far as garden ornaments go, it takes some beating.

A 12th century cloister with Romanesque arches that borders the swimming pool of Swiss expat Kurt Englehorn on his 22-hectare estate in Girona.

The spectacular piece of architecture was purchased by the homeowner’s grandfather in the 1950s, but has only just been ‘discovered’ by experts.

Surprisingly, the structure – compared to the monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos in Burgos – has no cultural protection and does not even feature on the inventory for the property.