Richard Branson's youthhood home up for sale

Tarnyard Farm, the home where Sir Richard Branson spent his youth days, has been listed on the market at a price of £4 million (RM22 million) in October 2020 by United Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty.

The English home where the self-made billionaire grew up in sits on a 1.4-acre plot in Shamley Green, a conservation village in the Surrey Hills Area of Natural Beauty.

The red brick house was bought in 1963 by Branson’s parents, Edward and Evette, from a viscountess. Although the billionaire did not spend all of his teenage years in the house, it is believed this is the place where he got the money-making ideas – selling Christmas trees and birds, according to Mansion Global report.

In terms of location, the house is about 1.5 hours’ drive from London. The house is also close to various amenities, such as retail stores, cafes and restaurants, international schools and local pubs.

With a built-up of 3,273 sq ft, the farmhouse consists of four bedrooms and three bathrooms, a bespoke kitchen, a reception room, a cloakroom and a family room that has its own entrance and can be shut off from the rest of the house.

There is also a home office inside the house that overlooks the outdoor garden, making it an ideal workspace for its residents.

The garden, sprawled over the property, provides a cheerful greeting at the front and a tranquil refuge at the rear, with seating areas and patios.

In its interior, the exposed-beam ceiling gives the house its own character and unique rustic beauty.

An abode that nurtures business ideas

Before becoming a business mogul with the founding of Virgin Group in 1970, Branson was a nobody trying to start a business in this very home in Surrey.

Though his entrepreneurial journey did not successfully take off then, this was where Branson invested £5 in Christmas tree saplings with Nik Powell, Branson’s future partner in founding Virgin Records. They planned to sell the trees at £2 and expected to make £800 but that did not materialise because rabbits kept eating their saplings.

Failing with the Christmas tree business, Branson ventured into budgie breeding, but he overestimated the local demand and the family had to deal with the increasing number of the birds.

From these humble beginnings in experimenting with various businesses in Tarnyard Farm, Branson is now worth £3.625 billion (RM20 billion), with Virgin Group having expanded into airlines, trains, banking and space travel.

This story first appeared in the e-weekly on Jan 22, 2021. You can access back issues here.

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