Love old buildings – September 2017
It is not easy having the responsibility of an old building, the constant maintenance, repairs and conservation can at time be a very daunting, a little scary and oh so so costly
So lets go back to 2011, a seven bed property comes on to the market. Set in just over an acre and complete with its own chapel. A fully functional working well dating back to Cromwellian times (1599-1658), garden with pond. Asking price just a couple of million. Oh sorry also requiring full modernisation and restoration….
Brook Place Grade II* – This house is important and without doubt one of the most important architecturally in the south of England. The attention to detail on the brickwork is similar to palaces built around 1665.
Most people seeing what is a big property costing that much and needing full restoration would just walk away, even more so if they had had any experience of dealing with historic properties and the problems that they can offer up to the unexpected owner. But no, the new owner hit this head on, and what a beautiful job they have done of it.
1656 Dutch Gable End – The house sports four of these beautiful Dutch gables and the windows are original and each have a separate and individual set of internal shutters. Such attention to detail
The very ornate mannerist style gable ends are built from bricks used as ballast and bought over on barges from Holland. To the centre of the gable above the window built into the square is an inscription 1656 W.B, which makes reference to the owner and builder of this house William Beauchamp and confirms its build date.
The interior of the building comes complete with oak panelled dining room, inglenook fireplace with drinking handles and a fully functional priest hole and serious rumours that there is a secret tunnel from the house to the local nunnery.
There is not a single aspect of the restoration of this property that has not been completed to the best of available resources, every brick has been painstakingly re-pointed every tile removed and lovingly put back, the guttering, and the rainwater hoppers all just perfect.
I can only imagine what it is like inside. I have been watching this project over the last few years and regret that I never tried to get involved;it would have been so wonderful to work on the beautifully crafted house.
Written and photographed by Steve Trodd
Love Old buildings Tel: 07868 721701