Historic estate items up for auction

HUNDREDS of items associated with an historic East Anglian estate will go under the hammer next week as the “Aussie” Earl prepares to end his family's 500-year association with north Suffolk.

By David Lennard

HUNDREDS of items associated with an historic East Anglian estate will go under the hammer next week as the “Aussie” Earl prepares to end his family's 500-year association with north Suffolk.

Last year, the Sixth Earl of Stradbroke announced the sale of the 4,219-acre Henham Estate, between Halesworth and Southwold.

The Earl, who prefers to be known as Keith Rous, and his family live at his sheep and cattle farm at Mount Fyans, Darlington, Victoria, in Australia.


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He inherited his title and Suffolk estate in 1983 and his decision to sell will end the Rous family's 500-year association with Henham.

The £12 million sale has been divided into 27 lots and is being handled by London agents Knight Frank. It also represents the largest area of land to be placed on the property market in this country for more than ten years.

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At the end of last year the Earl of Stradbroke contacted the EADT to say that there was a “good chance” that most of the 27 lots would be sold by the end of March 2004.

In the meantime the Earl promised another auction would be held to dispose of the stored building materials and other equipment kept on the estate.

“A decision has been made to sell all the farm tractors, equipment, scaffolding, building materials, vans, and antique gates in an unreserved auction,” said the Earl.

Bury St Edmunds-based auctioneer Peter Crichton has been asked to hold this “final closing down sale” that will take place at The Dairies and Park Farm, on the Henham Estate on Saturday, January 31.

“This auction will provide house restorers and buyers with the opportunity to obtain large quantities of 18th and 19th Century bricks, stonemasonry, tiles and other building materials with links to this estate,” said Mr Crichton yesterday.

“There are also some rather unusual items including a redundant fire engine with a Rolls Royce petrol engine and other bygones and items of interest,” he said.

The large amount of building materials, farm equipment, tractors and other vehicles is bound to attract a lot of interest from potential buyers all over the country.

Decorative gates and gateposts and other period features are included in the sale although Mr Crichton stressed that these did not come from Henham Hall, which was demolished in the 1950s.

“The reclaimed building materials come from many buildings that were at one time or another part of the estate.

“I am sure that people who are renovating older buildings will find something to interest them,” said Mr Crichton.

“A feature of this sale is that there are no reserve prices, no VAT and no buyer's premium,” he said.

Viewing takes place between 2pm and 4.30pm on Friday, January 30, and on the morning of the sale that starts at 11 am on Saturday, January 31.

Catalogues and more details are available from Peter Crichton, Auctioneers, 6 Northgate Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, IP32 6BB, telephone 01284 701304.

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