Sale of the century in north Suffolk

A YARD sale with a difference takes place todayas a wide range of items from the 4,200-acre Henham Estate comes under the auctioneer's hammer.The Aussie Earl of Stradbroke, who prefers to be known as Keith Rous, is ending his family's 500-year association with the estate in north Suffolk between Halesworth and Southwold.

A YARD sale with a difference takes place todayas a wide range of items from the 4,200-acre Henham Estate comes under the auctioneer's hammer.

The Aussie Earl of Stradbroke, who prefers to be known as Keith Rous, is ending his family's 500-year association with the estate in north Suffolk between Halesworth and Southwold.

The £12.5 million estate is being offered as one single lot or as 27 separate lots and has generated interest from around the world.

International estate agents Knight Frank said offers have been received for nearly every lot and the Earl is expected to announce more details about the outcome of the sale later this year.


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In the meantime a “closing down sale” of equipment and building material from the estate takes place today.

The sale has been organised by Bury St Edmunds-based auctioneer Peter Crichton and people from all over the country were at Henham yesterdayto see just what was being offered.

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Farmers and builders keen to look at items associated with their industries mingled with members of the public who were hoping to have the opportunity to bid for a part of Henham's history.

The site office was kept busy all afternoon with people registering to bid for items and the car parks at The Dairies and Park Farm where the sales will take place.

The auction begins at 11am at Park Farm and when everything is sold there, the sale then moves on to The Dairies.

As well as building materials and farm equipment the sale will include a number of more unusual items including a redundant fire engine painted in the gold and green Australian colours, lawn mowers and a caravan.

The Earl's son, the Hon Henham Rous, is in this country overseeing the sale of the estate and is looking forward to the auction.

“I am really excited about the auction and I am sure it will go well as there has been a lot of interest,” he said.

“We often hold auctions of farm equipment we no longer need in Australia so I have done this sort of thing before.

“I am not sad to see so many items from the estate go as it is something we knew would be happening,” said Henham.

The 20-year-old admitted, however, there was one item he would rather not be selling - the distinctive Mercedes van decked out in the Aussie national colours and emblazoned with the family motto: “We fight like lions and breed like rabbits”.

“I have really enjoyed being able to use the van and will miss it when it is sold. I just hope it goes to a good home and that the new owner will enjoy it as much as I have,” said Henham.

Parking space was at a premium on the estate yesterdayas so many people wanted to see what was being sold.

“It should be a really busy day judging by the number of people who have turned up today,” said Henham.

The Earl of Stradbroke is currently recovering at his Australian home after an accident on his sheep and cattle ranch in Victoria.

In the accident the Earl was thrown against an electric fence and suffered what he himself described as “a mini heart attack”.

Henham said yesterday that his father was recovering although was not always the perfect patient.

“Dad is recovering at home but he has been told to take things easy for a bit and that is not something he finds easy,” said Henham.

The Earl's recovery could be aided when he hears good news from today's auction sale.

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