Breathing new life into old buildings

Breathing new life into old buildings


The increasing demand for more housing is inevitably having an impact on the countryside and increasing demand on green-field sites as developers clamour for more land. It is therefore all the more important that existing buildings, within a village envelope, that have become redundant should be brought back to life.

This becomes even more essential if the property is a listed building and part of the country’s built heritage. A typical case in point is Manor Farm Barn in the picturesque hilltop village of Wingrave close to the Buckinghamshire/
Hertfordshire county boundary. The village has fought hard to protect its infrastructure and still has not only a parish church but a village store, local inn and Church of England Combined School, which has a good Ofsted rating.


The 17th century tythe barn in the heart of the village ceased to be used or agricultural purposes and was sympathetically converted into two dwellings in the 1990s. The major portion which includes a magnificent double
height drawing room (Above), a spacious kitchen/breakfast room, 2 further reception rooms and 4 bedrooms together with garaging and a mature garden is currently on the market for offers in excess of £750,000.

A far more challenging proposition was the breathing new life into old buildings former Archbishops’ Palace in the village of Charing in Kent. For years the local residents and the owner of this historic group of buildings, which are listed Grade I and form a Scheduled Ancient Monument, had been championing their cause. These wonderful
properties which date from the 13th century have a rich history and visitors include both Henry VII and Henry VIII who stayed at the Archbishops’ Palace with Catherine of Aragon and his retinue of 5,000 courtiers and servants on his way to the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520. Taking on the restoration of a Grade I property, let alone the complications and restrictions relating to a Scheduled Ancient Monument, is not for the faint hearted. After much
dialogue work has commenced and the Spitalfields Historic Buildings Trust have nearly completed the restoration of the first of the buildings, 2 PalaceCottages. (Middle and bottom left) At 1,800 sq ft and with a large kitchen/dining room, 3 reception rooms and 3 bedrooms each with an en-suite bath or shower room, a separate studio and parterre
garden this is more of a house than a cottage.


Most Grade I buildings are either large stately houses or ancient churches, this may be more modest in size but for those fascinated by historic buildings it is something of a jewel box. Asking price £700,000.

For more information contact Jackson-Stops & Staff
020 7664 6646.

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