New Life Breathed into Historic Farm Barns as they are Converted into Luxury Village Homes
Six historic farm barns dating back up to 200 years are being converted into luxury homes as part of a new community in a picturesque village.
Stonewood Homes has begun work on The Farmyard in Grittleton, a neighbourhood of 12 homes which include the Grade II listed stone and timber barns and six new builds on the former Manor Farm farmyard that has been worked by Justin Brunt’s family since 1930.
He and his wife Katherine have moved the family business into a new purpose-built site they designed themselves on a four acre site outside the village.
The barns, some of which date back to around 1830, were used until last year to house part of the farm’s beef herd, its threshing machine and grain dryer as well as machinery storage and garaging.
The buildings, which have been named after their original use, are being renovated to preserve original features such as stone walls and brickwork and incorporate them into one and two-storey open plan homes that are filled with light from huge windows.
Five of the barns on the three acre site will become three-bedroomed homes with one two-bedroom with four of the new builds made of stone complemented by two steel-framed and wooden-clad vaulted Dutch barns with distinctive curbed rooves. Five of the new homes will be three-bedroomed.
Creative Director Rachel Cropper said: “It’s going to have a real community feel because of the way that the barns are positioned. We have been very careful about using natural materials. In some of the bathrooms there is exposed brick and we’ve used slate to try and get a natural, organic feel.”
Many of the homes will have open plan kitchens, studies, a boot room and pantry as well as a shower and bath. Ms Cropper said: “We have tried to combine modern living with these really historic buildings that have these beautiful features.
“In the barns we’ve got the existing exposed elm A-frame beams and some internal stone and brick have been sandblasted to take them back to their original condition. In some barns they have the original doors and everywhere the history of the buildings will be very obvious when you are in there.”
Stonewood Homes architect Paul Halford said the six barns were added to the farm between 1830 and the early 20th century. “The random nature of the way they were added is quite appealing because it is not too ordered, none of the original buildings were planned out as they were built and there is a lot of inherent charm in that,” he said.
One of their most distinctive features is the amount of light they let in. “When we first went into barns two and three after they had been cleared of all the machinery that was stored in them and opened the big two-storey doors on the porches at the front the light that flooded in was absolutely incredible,” he said.
He said each barn has its own unique characteristics and the design seeks to bring out the best of them. “Each of those barns have been able to reveal during the process of building a sort of pretty individual character,” he said.
Both the barns and the new builds are a mixture of heights. Some feature huge two-storey atriums with central staircases but all have sliding or bifold doors that open living rooms and kitchens on to the garden.
The homes have wall, floor and roof insulation and will be heated by air source heat pumps. There will also be provision for electric car charging points. “We have re-used materials wherever we can to keep this as sustainable as we can,” said Ms Cropper.
She said that because the neighbourhood is enclosed by listed stone walls the street scene of the historic village, much of which was once owned by the Neeld family of Grittleton House, will be unchanged. “The site will still have the feel of Manor Farm because of the listed stone walls at the entrance,” she said.
“It is going to have a real community feel because of the way it is laid out, the homes are in a horseshoe shape. It will be quite private.”
Work is underway on converting the barns with the first ones set for completion by spring 2023.