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Philanthropist Simon Gibson’s huge Exning estate goes on the market for £50million

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The Exning estate, once home to local philanthropist, Simon Gibson, has gone on the market for the first time in more than a century with an asking price of £50million.

Mr Gibson, died at Landwade Hall, which forms part of the estate in May last year. He was 94.

The 1,776-acre includes residential properties, the Rossdales equine hospital, a solar farm, three stud farms, as well as the main house which is set in parkland. It also contains the chapel of St Nicholas at Landwade which is not known as a church but as a private peculiar.

The Exning estate, once home to local philanthropist, Simon Gibson.
The Exning estate, once home to local philanthropist, Simon Gibson.

According to Craig Robinson, spokesman for Savills which is handling the sale the estate, which currently generates a gross rental income of £1.6 million a year, will be sold either as a going concern or as 18 separate lots.

“The Exning Estate has evolved over time into the highly diverse rural-based business it is today,” said estate director Nick Wingfield-Digby. “With the death of the highly respected and generous largest shareholder, Simon Gibson, it is the right time for a new owner to embark on the next chapter in its evolution”

And Alex Lawson, director of Savills rural agency, added: “Highly diversified single entity rural estates rarely come to the market. Exning is an excellent example of what can be achieved over time and we anticipate widespread interest. Its multiple sources of income provide a solid foundation for a new owner with potential to generate new income streams in the future.”

The estate came to the Gibson family through Simon Gibson’s great uncle, William Tatem, who went from cabin boy to millionaire when he formed the Atlantic Shipping Company which became the largest exporter of coal mined in Wales.

In 1916 he was made Lord Glanely and in 1919, acquired the Exning estate, which then included Exning House, later known as Glanely Rest and used as an old people’s home for many years before it was sold. He was passionate about racing, won all the British Classics, was leading owner in 1919 and 1941, and was elected to the Jockey Club in 1929. His racing colours were black jacket, red, white and blue belt and cap, which were carried on by his great nephew.

Lord Glanely was killed in an air raid in Weston-super-Mare in 1942, and it was his nephew, George Gibson, Simon’s father, who inherited his fortune as his only son and heir had died in 1905 aged six.