Howzat for a sale package

With a guide price of £4m it is the ultimate country house - and perfect for a cricket-loving farmer. For along with a lovely six-bedroom farmhouse, 261 hectares of land and a reservoir, the new owners of Hall Farm, Garboldisham, near Diss, will also get the village's renowned cricket ground.

With a guide price of £4m it is the ultimate country house - and perfect for a cricket-loving farmer.

For along with a lovely six-bedroom farmhouse, 261 hectares of land and a reservoir, the new owners of Hall Farm, Garboldisham, near Diss, will also get the village's renowned cricket ground.

And for this privilege they can expect a lovely Christmas present each year in the form of a case of champagne and a case of claret, which is the rent agreed by current owner, farmer, Stephen Collett, and his wife Chris, for the use of the land by Garboldisham Cricket Club.

Yesterday, the couple, who bought the farm 21 years ago, said the agreement had proved “very enjoyable” to both parties over the years and would have to be honoured by any new owner.

Garboldisham is one of the oldest cricket grounds in Norfolk and the club has been in existence for over 150 years.

Today it is flourishing, with senior teams in the Norfolk Alliance League and Knights Norfolk League. It also has a thriving youth section, with both boys and girls teams doing well.

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The new clubhouse, built in 1993, was opened by former West Indian Test cricketer Courtney Walsh.

Mr Collett, 56, said that when the couple bought the farm there was no formal agreement in place for the payment of rent, but that the cricket club suggested providing a case of champagne a year.

A case of claret was added after the Colletts agreed to provide land for an extra pitch for the club's youth section.

The cricket club has played a big role in the Colletts' life as their daughter Leah, 25, kept score there before going on to score for Norfolk. Their son Oliver, 24, also played for the club.

Mr Collett said: “When we came here we didn't want any money from the club, so someone suggested the champagne.

“There was no formal agreement in place then, but the club wanted to apply for subsidies to build a clubhouse and put an artificial wicket in place. Since then we have given them the extra pitch for the youngsters and have been given the claret as well.”

He added: “It is one of the oldest cricket grounds in Norfolk. The club has full records up to 120 years ago and it is believed that people may have played there up to 200 years ago. At one time it was quite famous as the cricket team used to field six vicars at the turn of the last century, and it is possible Australia played up there in the late 19th century.”

Mrs Collett, 50, said: “This has been a wonderful home and a lovely place to bring up the children. It will be difficult to say goodbye, but now the children are settled in their own careers and do not want to take over the farm, we have decided to retire so that we can do more of the things we enjoy.”

Also included in the sale are two traditional barns with planning permission for residential conversion, a range of modern agricultural outbuildings and a cottage. The reservoir holds eight million gallons of water and is well stocked with fish. A range of crops has been grown on the land, including parsley, potatoes, onions, sugarbeet and cereals.

The farm has a guide price of £4m and is for sale through Clarke & Simpson.

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