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Darling Buds of May farm on market for £3m

By Rachael Woods

The iconic Darling Buds of May farm is on the market - and it could be yours for £3 million.

Once home to David Jason and Catherine Zeta Jones who starred in the hit 1990s' ITV series of the same name, its fading buildings were lovingly restored by devoted fan Simon Coulson, who snapped the Bethersden property up in 2012.

He turned it into holiday accommodation, attracting fans from across the world, all eager to relive the 'perfeck" lives of the Larkin family, immortalised in the H E Bates novel that inspired the series.

Pam Ferris and David Jason as the Larkins in The Darling Buds of May TV series. Picture: ITV (4070559)
Pam Ferris and David Jason as the Larkins in The Darling Buds of May TV series. Picture: ITV (4070559)

But after ploughing £1m into doing up the farm he now wants to turn his attentions to renovating another rural property and has put it on the market with Savills, Cranbrook.

Purchasers can snap Buss Farm up for a cool £3m but it is also being offered in separate parcels if a main buyer does not emerge. The farmhouse is being marketed for £800k; the oast house for £675k; the barn for £795k and the cart lodge for £350k.

Sarah Simmonds of Savills Cranbrook, who is handling the sale of the farmstead, said, “Thanks to the Darling Buds of May, Buss Farm is one of Kent’s most well-known locations and has delighted millions of television viewers all around the world.

Buss Farm oast house (4070572)
Buss Farm oast house (4070572)

"We anticipate a high level of interest from both domestic and international buyers, who will be keen to take advantage of this rare opportunity to buy a piece of television history.”

Buss farm is set in 35 acres, with the 18th century Grade II listed farmhouse at its centrepiece. There is also a two-storey oast house, oaked -framed barn and two-bedroom cart lodge. The buildings have permission to be converted to residential accommodation. There's another recreation barn available to buy as part of the package.

The barn at Buss Farm (4070565)
The barn at Buss Farm (4070565)

In 2017 the show's cast returned to the farm for a documentary, leading David Jason to comment in his book Only Fools and Stories: "It was moving and reassuring to discover how unchanged the place was. The little lane is as it was, the farmhouse is still there, and the oast house and the idyllic surrounding location seemingly untouched. It looked just like it did in 1991 - which is to say it looked just like it did in 1957."

Mr Coulson said: "I've done everything I can at Buss Farm and I'm looking for another countryside estate to do it all again.

"I loved the TV show and as the farm was in a dilapidated state when it came on the market I wanted to restore it so that people could relive a bit of the TV magic."

The farmhouse (4070568)
The farmhouse (4070568)

Mr Coulson who first lived in the farmhouse and who has now made the barn his home, says he hasn't ruled out keeping one of the buildings for himself, depending on which way the sale goes, but he will let "fate" decide.

Explaining the uniqueness of Buss Farm, Mr Coulson said: "It's off the beaten track; there are no noisy roads, it feels like a piece of Kent that has been lost in time."

Cart lodge (4070570)
Cart lodge (4070570)

Buss Farm is being marketed by Savills Cranbrook, with offers invited in excess of £3 million for the farmstead as a whole, or for individual properties from £350,000 to £800,000. Viewing is strictly by appointment only. For more information, contact Sarah Simmonds on 01580 720 161.

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