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As we approach the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's voyage in 2020, a barn in Buckinghamshire is on the market which historian J Rendel Harris concluded in 1920 was constructed from remnants of the famous vessel. If you're interested though, you'll need to have deep pockets, as the barn is part of a luxury development in the village of Jordan, near Beaconsfield, that has a guide price of a whopping £15 million.
That said, if the history is accurate, the barn is a priceless relic of a key moment in the history of America. So the story goes, the history of the barn dates back to 1624, when one Thomas Russell sought to add to a local farm which he owned. Harris concluded that Russell bought the timber for his new barn from a shipbreaker's yard in Rotherhithe, and that these timbers had once belonged to the ship named "The Mayflower". In 1921, part of the wood from the Mayflower Barn was taken to the States and placed in the Peace Arch, built by American Businessman Sam Hill, and located near the US/Canadian border between the communities of Blaine, Washington and Surrey, British Columbia.
Jordan has another important American connection. The village is home to the Jordan's Quaker Meeting Centre, the burial place of William Penn, the Founder of Pennsylvania.
The current owner of Old Jordans, Paul Knapfield, speaking to the Wall Street Journal earlier this year, explained that when he bought the property in 2006 from the Quaker church, "It was all a bit sad ... Nothing in the house worked, and it looked ghastly, but I thought its Mayflower heritage was super interesting." After investing "millions" in the property, Old Jordans is now on the market, being sold via Real Estate Agents Knight Frank.
Describing the property, Knight Frank say that "Set in approximately 6 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, including a natural swimming pond and surrounded by the rolling Buckinghamshire countryside, the Old Jordans estate comprises a cluster of carefully restored historical buildings, including a secondary house with 7 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms, as well as a guest cottage with two, 2 bedroom apartments, with considered contemporary additions, all approved by English Heritage."
£15 million may be a big ask, but with the strength of the Dollar against the Pound seeing a surge in American interest in UK property, could there be an American investor out there who, ahead of Mayflower 2020 celebrations, can bring the barn back to the people? We wait and see!