Duchy does daffodil deal for quarry

Published: Friday 27th March 2015 by The News Editor

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With money far from being a worry, the Prince of Wales asked the new owner of a quarry on his land to pay him something rather more novel than cold, hard cash for rent – a single daffodil.

The unusual ground rent is part of a deal for the Prince of Wales and Trewarmett Quarries, a historic site near Tintagel in north Cornwall.

The quarry was sold on behalf of the Duchy of Cornwall by land and property auctioneers Clive Emson.

It was listed with a guide price of £40,000 to £50,000, but the estimate was smashed when it fetched £81,000 at auction yesterday.

The quarry has a 999-year lease but it seems unlikely the new owner, who lives in north Devon, will have to present Charles with the flower every year.

Scott Gray, an auctioneer for Clive Emson, said he thought the rental demand may have been made with a “twinkle in the eye” by the duchy.

He said: ” The property was previously offered for sale in September last year but had to be postponed because some local parishioners were concerned as to why a local community asset was being sold.

“However after further to-ing and fro-ing between the Duchy of Cornwall and residents it was put back to market as a long-leasehold entity, not freehold, enabling it to come to market for sale.

“Normally with property you see a peppercorn ground rent. In this instance they exchanged the words ‘peppercorn’ to ‘daffodil’. I think that was done with a twinkle in the eye by the Duchy of Cornwall.

“A daffodil is obviously the flower of Wales, so we think it was done with a twinkle in the eye by the Duchy of Cornwall, and that is possibly the reason why they picked it.

“We are not expecting the new owner to have to rock up to Highgrove every year and present the daffodil to Charles.”

The Prince of Wales and Trewarmett Quarries is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with land stretching to almost 46 acres.

Located in the Trebarwith Valley, the site includes a waterfall and Woolf Engine House, the only preserved mine engine house in north Cornwall.

Dating back to around 1870, it would have been uses for around 20 years to haul slate and pump water away from the nearby quarries.

Mr Gray said: “You are not going to be able to do anything with the land apart from for pleasure and amenity purposes.

“It is highly unlikely that it could be used for anything more commercial in nature, but you never know.”

A spokeswoman for Clarence House said: “For decades, the daffodil has been the Duchy’s own, rather more charming version of a peppercorn rent. It is grown by a lot of our tenants, particularly in Cornwall and on the Isles of Scilly.”

The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust also pays a daffodil as a peppercorn rent.

Published: Friday 27th March 2015 by The News Editor

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