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Barham House former nursing home near Canterbury sold for £1 million at auction


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A former nursing home which was shut down following a damning inspection has sold for more than £1 million at auction.

Barham House, located in The Street in Barham, near Canterbury, was originally an 18th century mansion and is surrounded by gardens and a large car park.

Barham House in Barham, near Canterbury, has sold for just over £1 million. Picture: Clive Emson
Barham House in Barham, near Canterbury, has sold for just over £1 million. Picture: Clive Emson

The Grade II-listed property was initially put on the market for £2,100,000 last year.

But it went under the hammer with a guide price of £900-950,000 and was sold for £1,052,000.

Auctioneers Clive Emson say there is the potential to return it to its care home use or sub-divide the building.

Jon Rimmer, auction appraiser, said: “This is a large and attractive property with 20 bedrooms, most of which have en-suites.

“It also includes offices, kitchen and communal areas and a self-contained two-bedroom flat, plus a new single-storey extension at the back with seven bedrooms.

Barham House nursing home was shut down in 2021 following a damning inspection
Barham House nursing home was shut down in 2021 following a damning inspection

“It might be possible to sub-divide, or another scheme might be possible if all necessary consents are obtainable.

“The historic property certainly has potential, and we had a lot of interest.”

Barham House was put up for sale after failings found by the Care Quality Commission in January 2021 resulted in its registration being cancelled.

It led to Kent County Council stopping its contract with the provider A Bright Care Ltd, and 23 residents being moved to alternative accommodation.

The company had only acquired the home in 2020 and had plans to improve the facilities but said the Covid pandemic had affected its operations.

A report by CQC inspectors found failings in safety, effectiveness, responsiveness and leadership.

At the time, A Bright Care director Mia Rhodes said she accepted there were some difficulties and failures, but was “deeply disappointed” the home had been forced to shut.

She said: “We have worked flat out during the pandemic, despite staff difficulties, to keep our residents safe and happy and have only lost one to Covid.

“It’s not our decision to close the home and we have fought it very hard, and invested so much to make improvements to the old building, including a new roof, which hasn’t been easy.

“There has been issues but we haven’t been able to magically make things happen.

“We asked for more time to get things right but KCC were not prepared to [give us it].”

Visit Clive Emson's website for more details.

Another property which went under the hammer was the former Methodist chapel in Selling Road, Old Wives Lees, which was built in around 1868.

The Wesleyan place of worship has a wealth of attractive architectural features - and it might be possible to convert it to residential accommodation as long as all necessary consents are obtainable.

The freehold guide price was £150,000-plus and it sold for £266,000.

One further lot was a parcel of land of around three acres at East Street in Ash, which sold for £59,300.

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