A GOLDEN opportunity has arisen to become one of Devon's major landowners after a chunk of Dartmoor filled with archaeological remains went on sale.

The 2,750-acre Brent Moor Estate on the southern edge of Dartmoor is for sale at a price in the region of £300,000.

And whoever secures the land, near Bigbury, will be surrounded by remains dating back to the Bronze Age.

The 4,000 year-old relics include burial cairns and a number of hut circles which are the original foundations of pre-historic homes in the area. It also boasts the remains of a tramway used in the early 20th century to transport china and peat.

The River Avon runs through the heart of the open moorland with stunning scenery as it cuts its way through the rocks in a series of deep pools.

Since entering the market, it has already attracted widespread interest and one offer was rejected over the weekend - falling far short of the asking price.

But despite its historical significance, the new landowner will have to cope with the burden of people roaming across his land.

The rights of public access attached to the freehold means that anyone can set foot on the land, while cattle are also free to graze.

However, the attraction may lay in the sports rights, which could pave the way for someone interested in outdoor pursuits, such as shooting.

Handling the sale on behalf of an unnamed private company, Martin Lamb, of FDP Savills, said the estate boasts superb leisure facilities.

'Admittedly, the overall facilities are limited, but this is a unique chance to become one of Devon's biggest landowners at a very reasonable price,' he said. 'It might be part of Dartmoor but this does offer fantastic leisure opportunities.

'With the way shooting is threatened at the moment a purchaser who already has a shoot may wish to acquire the sporting rights to add onto his existing assets.'

Mr Lamb revealed that the eventual buyer is likely to be someone looking to take a long-term view of the land.

'There are all sorts of things happening these days that may tempt some to invest. There is a great movement towards natural and wind power which may come into the equation.'

John Weir, spokesman for the Dartmoor National Park Authority, confirmed the moorland has a high scenic value.

'It is a beautiful area, rich in archaeological remains,' he said. 'It also provides a wonderful recreational resource for walkers, horse riders and nature watchers.'

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