English village for sale

Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:08am EDT
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LINKENHOLT, England (Reuters Life!) - An entire English village, complete with 22 houses and cottages, two blacksmiths and a cricket pitch, goes on sale this week.

The charitable trust which owns Linkenholt in Hampshire, southern England, has decided to sell up and use the capital it raises elsewhere.

The asking price when Linkenholt goes on the open market on Wednesday is 22-25 million pounds ($31-35 million), according to Jackson-Stops & Staff estate agents who are handling the sale.

The archetypal English village is nestled in rolling countryside and boasts a manor house, old rectory and clock tower and is part of a 2,000-acre estate.

One of the few things a buyer would not own is St. Peters church, which originally dates back to the 12th century but was significantly rebuilt in 1871.

Locals, who rent their properties, are expected to stay on after the sale, and most hope that a change in ownership does not mean a change in lifestyle.

"It would be nice if somebody bought the estate and lived here and was Lord of the Manor to be quite honest, that's the general consensus of everyone in the village," said Colin Boast, one of the village's two blacksmiths.

"It would just be nice if somebody looked at the village and said 'well, let's keep it as the village it is.' But you never know."

Paul Raynesford, a local thatcher, said he thought the asking price for the village was reasonable.   Continued...