Norfolk family’s £4.5m farm is being sold for the first time since 1823
- Credit: Chris Hill
A farm near North Walsham is being sold for the first time since 1823 – ending almost 200 years of a Norfolk family's farming tradition.
Green Farm at Paston has been put on the market with a guide price of £4.5m, following the decision of the Purdy family to retire from agriculture.
Elizabeth Purdy, the fifth generation of her family to manage the land at Paston, is one of three sisters and has two daughters herself - Clare is a nurse practitioner, and Rachel is a teacher in Colchester.
But having pursued other careers, she said no-one else in the family is able to take on the 465-acre farm, so the time was now right to sell up and move to Norwich to be closer to her daughter.
"It seemed like a good idea to sell the farm now, so everyone can benefit from the proceeds," she said. "My sister and her daughters, as well as my daughters, are all shareholders in the company. I cannot keep doing it any longer, I am just getting too old.
"It was a hard decision to come to - very hard. It is the end of the Purdy tradition at Paston. The Purdys have always been quite active in the village and the parish council. But the next generation really were not interested in the country life.
"And the economies of agriculture are such that a farm of 500 acres is not enough land to use fully all the machinery that you need. All the people who are contract-farming are farming 2,000 acres plus, so they can afford to do that work."
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The productive land has been farmed by contractors since the early 1990s, with a rotation of crops including cereals, sugar beet, potatoes and vining peas. It is being offered for sale either as a whole or in five separate lots.
Tom Corfield, partner at Arnolds Keys Irelands Agricultural, which is marketing the farm, said: "This is a rare opportunity to purchase a substantial farm incorporating a lot of productive arable land - mostly Grades I and II.
"The land is split into parcels which are suitable for modern agricultural machinery, with gently undulating ground.
"Large parcels of land of this quality do not come onto the market very often - it is nearly 200 years since this land was last offered for sale - and so we are expecting keen interest both from within Norfolk and further afield."