We have nearly completed our seven year project to convert and extend an old farm service building. We’ve made the minimum possible changes to the old building so we can preserve the history of its fabric, including the clay in its walls, while turning it into a comfortable home.
With a modern extension built on the footprint of the section of the farm building which fell down a few decades ago, the shape and bulk of the ancient farmyard has now been restored. The 14th – 15th century farmhouse is along the north side and our conversion and extension along the west.
The fence in the picture below is a temporary one to prevent toddlers wandering, but normally the boundary will be left open to give a unified view down the meadow that runs away from the houses. There will be a stepping-stone path through the meadow where the boards (laid to take machinery) are now visible.
The texture of the wall of the old building, which is still mainly clay and straw, is in striking contrast to the smooth finish of the new section but the limewash on both helps to unify them. There is a lot more repair and preservation work to do to the old clay walls, but they’ve lasted for centuries, so we’re not planning to rush it.
The architects were Hollins of Framlingham, the extension was built and finished inside and out by Booty Builders of Laxfield, the piled foundations were by DJE Construction of Attleborough, and the engineers were Stroud Associates of Harkstead. We have been very pleased with the quality of the build and the design.