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Kelling Hall goes to London buyer

10:07 07 November 2008

A north London recycling tycoon has bought the north Norfolk Kelling Hall Estate two months after it went on sale for £25m.

The Kelling Estate, formerly owned by Shirley and James Deterding, has been bought by Gary Widdowson, 50, known in the business world as a “secret entrepreneur” because he remains notoriously low profile.

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A north London recycling tycoon has bought the north Norfolk Kelling Hall Estate two months after it went on sale for £25m.

The Kelling Estate, formerly owned by Shirley and James Deterding, has been bought by Gary Widdowson, 50, known in the business world as a “secret entrepreneur” because he remains notoriously low profile.

Agents Strutt & Parker, who handled the sale, confirmed that contracts have been exchanged on the estate which will now pass from the hands of a family who founded Royal Dutch Shell to Mr Widdowson, whose father founded GD Metal, now called Metal & Waste Recycling.

Mr Widdowson apparently likes to scuba-dive and used to be a serious showjumper, once competing for Britain. He adores shooting and owns a private dock on the Thames. He recently sold a big stake in his scrap metal and waste recycling business to Barclays, diversifying into property through a private company, Kenninghall Holdings.

A friend of Mr Widdowson, Duncan Ross, speaking on his behalf, said: “Buying Kelling Hall has nothing to do with his business, it is going to be his home with his wife. The shoot was a big attraction to him as was the idea of owning an entire estate.

“It is very different to someone buying an estate who is not going to be there, someone who has bought it as an investment. Mr Widdowson has bought Kelling Hall as a home.”

Mr Ross said there were to be no current changes to the hall or estate, adding that the land was going to be farmed and the holiday cottage business continued.

He said Mr Widdowson and his wife had instantly fallen in love with the hall and the estate and were keen to be part of the community.

Kelling Hall, near Cromer, boasts 13 bedrooms and is situated in just under 1,600 acres, with seven cottages and 11 holiday properties as well as owning 10 homes in the village.

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