The English manor where billionaire Richard Branson grew up just hit the market for $5 million — take a look inside
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Rabbits wrecked Sir Richard Branson's first entrepreneurial venture. Branson, the Virgin Group tycoon, planted Christmas trees in the backyard of his red-brick home in the English countryside when he was just a teenager. He planned to sell them at a profit, but rabbits ate up the saplings, decimating his merchandise. His next venture? Selling mail-order records. In 1971, at age 21, Branson was arrested for a tax evasion scheme involving the records. His mother posted his bail — the very same red-brick manor. Those failures only bolstered Branson's business savvy. By 1972, just one year later, Branson used his mail-order business as a springboard to found Virgin Records — a name which came from the conceit that he and his cohorts were "virgins" in business. They had their first major hit with Mike Oldfield's album "Tubular Bells" in 1973. The company went on to sign the Sex Pistols, Phil Collins, and the Rolling Stones. Today, the Virgin empire also includes an airline, hotels, a space tourism company, and more. Forbes estimates Branson's net worth to be $4.5 billion. Now, the red-brick home that played such an essential role in the making of a billionaire is for sale. It just hit the market for $5.2 billion. Known as Tanyards Farm, the 1.4-acre property is 30 miles southwest of London in the quiet village Shamley Green. Jason Corbett of UK Sotheby's International Realty holds the listing. Keep reading for a look inside the home where Branson dreamed up his first business plans.Tanyards Farm, the home where billionaire Richard Branson grew up, just hit the market.
Source: United Kingdom Sotheby's International Realty The manor-style home is roughly an hour southwest of London.
Source: United Kingdom Sotheby's International Realty Branson's parents acquired the home in 1963 from a viscountess, according to Mansion Global.
Source: Mansion Global While Branson now resides on his private Necker Island in the Caribbean's British Virgin Islands, the home played an important role early in his career.
Source: Business Insider It was there, in the quiet village of Shamley Green in Surrey, that Branson dreamed up his first business plan as a mere teenager.
Source: "Losing My Virginity," Daily Mail He and future Virgin Group cofounder Nik Powell spent £5 (about $6.50 in today's dollars) to buy enough seeds to plant roughly 400 Christmas trees in the land around the home. They planned to sell each tree for £2 ($2.60).
Source: "Losing My Virginity," Daily Mail Most of the trees were eaten by rabbits immediately after planting, so the plan didn't result in its intended payday, but the experience did mark the tycoon's first venture.
Source: "Losing My Virginity," Daily Mail He describes Tanyards Farm as the setting for his first entrepreneurial failures, including the Christmas tree plot, in his 1998 autobiography "Losing My Virginity."
Source: "Losing My Virginity" In the book, he called the property a "rambling building with many barns and sheds and some land." He left home to start his first successful venture, selling records.
"Losing My Virginity," Daily Mail In 1971, Branson was arrested for tax evasion due to the way he was selling albums. Branson's mother subsequently posted the family home as bail.
Source: Daily Mail, Slate Branson's early run-in with the taxman didn't slow him down for long. Forbes estimates his current net worth is $4.5 billion.
Source: Forbes The Branson family previously sold Tanyards Farm, and a different owner has just put the property on the market for $5.2 million.
Source: United Kingdom Sotheby's International Realty The listing agent, Jason Corbett of UK Sotheby's International Realty, said in a statement that the house is "full of history, character, warmth, and charm."
Source: United Kingdom Sotheby's International Realty Tanyards Farm sits on 1.4 acres of land and has four bedrooms and three bathrooms, according to the listing.
Source: United Kingdom Sotheby's International Realty The property, besides serving as a window into the making of a billionaire, also offers a quintessential British country experience.
Source: United Kingdom Sotheby's International Realty According to the listing, Tanyards Farm is located near a cricket green and two local pubs — perfect for toasting a successful career or the beginning of a new one.
Source: United Kingdom Sotheby's International Realty
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