Queen guitarist Brian May bought Sir Patrick Moore’s Sussex home before leasing it back to him to ensure he had financial security in his twilight years.

The 65-year-old musician, who was a close friend of the astronomer, bought his Selsey home for £480,000 before leasing it back to him the same day in 2008.

May, who was a Moore fan from childhood, charged his hero one peppercorn for the 25-year lease.

The touching gift, which is detailed in Land Registry documents, was revealed in yesterday’s Sunday Times.

Moore, who died on December 9 aged 89, is regarded as the grandfather of British astronomy.

He bought his West Sussex home, Farthings, in 1967 for £4,000 in cash.

In an obituary written by May, he said: “In his private life, Patrick was astoundingly giving.

“His dedication to young aspiring astronomers was legendary. He replied to every letter, responded to questions, helped students with gifts of equipment and the most precious gift of all – his time.

“He gave away any income he made to the point where he had no security except that which his friends supplied.”

He added: “Patrick was the last of a lost generation, a true gentleman, the most generous in nature that I ever knew, and an inspiration to thousands in his personal life, and to millions through his 50 years of unique broadcasting.

“There will never be another Patrick Moore. But we were lucky enough to get one.”

There will be a private funeral for family and friends with a public celebration of his life planned for the spring.

See the latest news headlines from The Argus:

More news from The Argus

Follow @brightonargus

The Argus: Daily Echo on Facebook - facebook.com/southerndailyecho Like us on Facebook

The Argus: Google+ Add us to your circles on Google+