The Property Renovation Bug
Church House - ripe for renovation!
Twenty-five years ago on a cold wintry night at a local hotel auction, the hammer came down to a derelict timber framed Estate owned gardener's cottage... Brassey's Contract Cottage. The minimum reserve was £40,000 and the successful new owner was Didy Morgan, 25 years old from Chester with an absolute maximum budget of £40,000. Family and friends thought she was safe enough not to secure the property as a first home because she had such a tiny budget. There was one person to bid on that evening so by default this started a love affair of rescuing and renovating totally unsuitable old buildings.
Saving Grade II listed Brassey's Contract Cottage from the 'at risk' register pioneered an ambitious programme of authentic, period cottage renovation. Following on from Brassey's a dilapidated Bank Farm House and a thoroughly derelict timber framed threshing barn was next on the renovation list. These won a National Building Conservation Award once they were finished. The detail included growing our own long wheat straw for a thatched roof to replace the corrugated tin roof on the threshing barn. Other listed properties to be renovated were the Grade I Listed Lower Carden Hall. Next were Carden Green and Hillcrest Cottages. Church Gates in the Eden Valley and then the 'jewel in the crown' Church House, Eskdale. This was in the most appalling condition, in a valley with one of the highest rainfalls in England, but has been a labour of love to save using lime mortar and render throughout.
We have been awarded 5 star Gold by Visit England and were recently featured in the Sunday Times, Cheshire and Cumbrian Life, where Church House was described as immaculately restored and the most comfortably furnished getaway.
Carden Arms on the cobbles (when facing closure)
For some R&R in the Mediterranean sun, Ca'n Llimoner in the stunning mountainous village of Deia, Mallorca, was given a complete overhaul; this was an easy one! Some of these properties are now rented out long term but Church House, Eskdale and Ca'n Llimoner, Deia, are a small holiday let duo. Alongside the renovations, a run-down dairy farm was added to the property list to house the much loved ever-growing herd of Traditional Pedigree Hereford cattle in the winter months. In a moment of madness, and under the pretence to 'add value' to the Hereford meat, the village pub was purchased and saved from closure. A village isn't ever as enjoyable without a pub and so for the last two years, a steep learning curve has also been climbed on how to run a traditional village inn, hopefully without too many Fawlty Towers moments! We have just celebrated our second Christmas within the pub and it now stands proudly over the village green and welcomes guests for liquid refreshments, nourishment and a super comfy bed for the night; we've evolved!
Browse our little website to see what we have to offer.
Bank Farm timber framed panels reinstatement.
Brassey's prior to restoration with a corrugated roof.
Brassey's Contract Cottage after renovation.
Traditional Pedigree Hereford youngsters on Cliffe Bank meadows.