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The oldest shop in the UK for sale

Interview with...

Sallie Stevens
Business name:
Burghesh Court
Goods/services:
Gift shop, post office and tearooms, together laying claim to being the oldest retail premises in the UK
Location:
Chiddingstone, Kent
Owned business for:
7-8 years
Reasons for selling:
To spend more time with family; more suited to a couple, she believes
Asking price and agreed price:
Undisclosed

Sallie Stevens has been running the shop and tearooms known as Burghesh Court in Chiddingstone for seven and a half years.  

BusinessesForSale: How did you come to purchase Burghesh Court?

Sallie Stevens: I was working here seven years ago as a waitress. I absolutely loved the area. The owners before me decided to sell so I sold my house and bought the business down here. It is a lovely place to work.

BFS: Is Burghesh Court the oldest shop in the UK?

SS: I believe so. I have seen leases for the building dating back from 1453. At one point it was owned by Anne Boleyn's father and was owned by him for nine years. We are now part of the National Trust. 

BFS: Do the buildings themselves have any historical features?

SS: They are very quirky and very old buildings. The pillars were made locally [out of the cannon shafts] as they were making cannons for Elizabeth the First - which they used to test fire the cannons across a lake nearby. 

BFS: What kind of business is Burghesh Court today?

SS: We have a local shop and tea rooms here. We also have a pizza oven and sell pizzas through the summer on Fridays and Saturdays.

We are located in Chiddingstone village, a lovely village to live in. Immediately upon moving in you become part of the community and everyone is welcoming. Our shop is the only shop of this nature in the village.

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