Country House

Conversion of two 19th century cottages into a small country house, including internal & external alterations, new garden room, swimming pool and landscaping.

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The building comprised a pair of 19th C farm-workers cottages, originally of rendered stone with a slate roof, but subsequently reroofed in thatch. The new thatch had been laid over the existing structure, at an inappropriately low pitch. The cottages were on a north slope, with small windows and dark interiors.

The two properties have been unified externally at the front by the creation of a double storey entrance porch, enlarged windows and a new thatched and bonnetted roof at the conventional pitch. Internally, former lobbies and passages have been removed to create a series of interconnecting rooms lending light and views to each other. In an angle at the rear of the property a garden room has been constructed, catching the available sunlight through a glazed roof within stone walls.

The house is very practical, with service rooms, north facing larder, and suited bathrooms discreetly integrated into the layout. Finishes are simple but of high quality, including oak and limestone floors. Services are unobtrusive and include underfloor heating and miniature recessed lighting. The outdoor swimming pool is served by the same boiler which heats the house in winter.

Externally, a new entrance drive approaching from the front has replaced the previous access down the side of the building. The rear garden is separated from the surrounding fields – now parkland – by a low ha-ha. Stone terracing extends the living area of the house, and the pool is tucked into the hillside nearby. The latter enjoys extensive views but is nevertheless almost invisible from within the house or the land around. The barn adjoining the house has been restored and rethatched, with inconspicuous new windows to admit light.

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