Entire Devon village on sale for £10million

The pretty community of Bantham helped inspire Agatha Christie

An entire picture-postcard village complete with thatched cottages, a pub, a shop and a beach is to be sold for £10million.

The pretty community of Bantham in south Devon helped inspire Agatha Christie and is a favourite holiday spot for tycoon Richard Branson.

It contains 25 homes, cobbled streets, one pub, a shop which only opens on weekends and a stunning beach.

But the village sits on one of the largest family-owned estates in Britain which leases out the majority of the properties.

The estate has been in the same family for generations and many of the resident's tenancies have passed down through the generations.

But they could now face being evicted and left homeless after it emerged the village and wider estate is set to be sold.

The Evans Estate - which also includes land and properties in Wales and Dorset - is set to go on the market for £35million.

Bantham contains 25 homes, cobbled streets, one pub and a shop that only opens on weekends


It is not known if Bantham can be bought separately from the rest of the estate but experts say its homes, land and beach make up around £10million of the sale.

Locals received letters last week confirming the village and its surrounding land will be put up for sale.

Barbara Tucker, a tenant who runs Bantham village shop with her husband Kevin, said: "We are used to millionaires coming to visit here as it is so picturesque.

"But our real fear is we will be sold to a faceless financial institution who will not care about Bantham at all. Obviously there is huge uncertainty and anxiety in the village, with many of us worrying about whether we will lose our homes.

"We can only hope and pray that the new owners will be sympathetic to the locals."


The Bantham location includes extensive farmland, houses and the beach that overlooks Burgh Island.

The island was a frequent holiday haunt of Agatha Christie and where she penned several books including 'Evil Under The Sun' and 'And Then There Were None'.

Evans Estates has refused to confirm the sale.

It says on their website: "The estate at Bantham has been in the same family for several generations.

"Their ethos has always been to allow Bantham to remain a place of outstanding beauty, with the village's old thatched cottages portraying an image of unchanging charm and the beach and its surrounds staying as wild and natural as can be."

The village also has a wide sandy beach


Barbara said Bantham villagers are planning to set up a committee to deal with the estate’s land agents, Michelmore Hughes.

She said: "Many of our leases and tenancy agreements are very old and different from each other, so sorting it all out would be a real headache.

"We've heard rumours for the past eight months that we could be up for sale, now it’s confirmed we just want to know what will happen to us.

"Even though we don’t own our houses, they are our homes and we love it here.

"Many people here have lived in Bantham for 60 years or more, with some tenancies being passed down through several generations of the same family.

Rod Seymour, landlord of The Sloop Inn in Bantham, said Evans Estates had been responsible and well-liked landowners over the years and would be greatly missed.

He said: "They have always run the beach with an eye to keeping it very natural and unspoilt, and supported local businesses and families.

"We are very concerned that a new owner may not share the same attitude.

Estate agency Strutt and Parker is said to be conducting the Evans Estates sale, although its spokesperson said the company could not comment at this stage.


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Fri, Sep 27, 2013 15:00 BST