Derelict farm’s new lease of life with no-expense-spared makeover
THE farmhouse on Bullace Trees Lane had slipped gradually into dereliction with the owner closing off rooms as they became uninhabitable. Eventually, it was left empty for 16 years before Andrew and Bernadette Hodgson came to its rescue.
They bought the grade two listed property in 2008 and could see it had potential, though they didn’t realise quite what a challenge it represented.
Although Andrew is an experienced builder, he was unused to working with period property. “My day job is more extensions and new kitchens and so I’d never tackled anything like this,” he says.
“But it ticked all the boxes in terms of location and size and so we bought it. It was a huge job though. The gable was bellying out and there were holes in the roof. Inside, rooms had been closed off and internal walls built to block off the parts where rain was leaking in. We did everything from the roof and chimneys down.”
The listed status proved frustrating and Andrew had to fight to reinstate some of the mullion windows.
“The original mullion windows had been taken out and replaced with bigger windows back and front, which I didn’t think were appropriate or in keeping. Bizarrely, the new windows were part of the listing and I had to stick out to change them, though I was only allowed to change them for mullions at the front.”
That kind of attention to detail is reflected throughout the stunning property, which was built in 1609 and has a host of period features, including original inglenook fireplaces and beams, which were carefully cleaned by hand to retain makers marks.
“I wanted to do it justice and so we didn’t skimp on anything, as my bank balance will testify,” says Andrew.
The farmhouse, which is set in two acres and has 3,306 sq. ft of space, has a dining kitchen with Aga, a dining hall with oak panelled walls, sitting room, drawing room, snug, study, utility and cloakroom. There is also a downstairs guest suite with double bedroom and bathroom and its own external door.
On the first floor, there is a master bedroom with ensuite and dressing room, three bedrooms and two en-suites. Outside, there is a garden plus two stables, a tack room, turnout area and a 1.5 acre paddock.
Three derelict cottages are also included with the sale and these have scope to be converted into workshops or garages.
Andrew and Bernadette are selling so they can renovate and live in a nearby barn, which came with the property.
He says: “Renovating the farmhouse has been a real eye opener. I’ve used a lot of traditional methods like lime plastering, so I’ve learned a lot on this project and I am really pleased with how it’s all turned out.”