The British billionaire grew up in this gorgeous Surrey mansion.
These days Sir Richard Branson is better known for living on Necker Island in the Caribbean, but it all started for him in a leafy village in Guildford, called Shamley Green. Now his childhood home, Tanyard Farm, is up for sale for £4 million through Sotheby's International, providing a keyhole vision into the billionaire's early years.
This is where Branson, born in London, spent his childhood, attending Scaitcliffe School, a prep school in Surrey, before briefly attending Cliff View House School. Branson has dyslexia, and had poor academic performance; on his last day at school, his headmaster, Robert Drayson, told him he would either end up in prison or become a millionaire.
In his 1998 autobiography, Losing My Virginity, the Virgin founder mentions Tanyard Farm. It was where Branson’s first business ventures began with the planting of a Christmas tree farm within the 1.4 acre grounds. Branson had hoped to sell the trees but hadn’t counted on rabbits eating their way through the plantings before they were anywhere near fully grown.
The four-bedroom home lends itself well to home working families, says Sotheby's. With an in and out driveway behind substantial electric gates, there are large gardens bordered by woodland and pastureland. There are several patios and seating areas.
Inside there are beamed and often double height ceilings with lots of natural light - the agent describes it as "a Tardis" as it seems endless. The beautifully painted bespoke kitchen has masses of work surfaces, a separate larder cupboard and leads to both the garden conservatory and the dining room. On the west wing of the house there is a further reception room, a cloakroom and a home office overlooking the garden. Upstairs, each of the bedrooms has an ensuite bathroom.
Located in the heart of Shamley Green, this is a popular area of pretty, conservation villages in the midst of the Surrey Hills Area of Natural Beauty just over 5 miles to the south of Guildford. The property is just a short distance from the cricket green, village store, cafe/delicatessen and two local pubs.
Guildford and Godalming (approx. 5 miles) provide more extensive leisure and shopping facilities as does Cranleigh village (approx. 4 miles). There are fast train services from Guildford and Godalming to London/Waterloo from about 35 minutes, and the A3 provides easy access to the M25, London, Heathrow and Gatwick Airports.
There is a vast choice of excellent schools in the area, and the surrounding countryside, including Blackheath and Winterfold. Jason Corbett, Director Country Sales and Lettings at UK Sotheby’s International Realty, calls it "one of Surrey's most sought after villages."
For more information go to Sotheby's.