This Grade 2 listed farmhouse near Dorstone, Herefordshire, appears externally to be an 18th century stone building, but the extensive oak internal structure confirms the original framed house dates from the 16th century or possibly even earlier than that. Looking at the front of the farmhouse the early framing is on the left, and this was encased with stone in the 18th century when the cross-wing to the right was added. The barn with the large opening originally contained a cider press, and the first floor room, accessed up the external stone steps, was a granary.
A full scheme of restoration was commissioned and inappropriate modern details were corrected. The roof was covered with stone tiles and chimney stacks were rebuilt. Windows in English oak and bronze were inserted, and new cast iron rainwater goods with traditional brackets were installed.
Internally all oak framing was conserved, a new purpose-made oak staircase was constructed and all services were renewed. The main barn opening was filled with slender painted galvanised steel framing containing double-glazed units, ensuring minimum visual intrusion and maximum light. The three doors to the granary range were treated in the same way, but have external oak doors as shutters which can be closed in bad weather or for security.
A high degree of insulation was incorporated, and the house is heated by geothermal energy with a ground source heat pump, which is connected to four deep boreholes.
The works were designed to be done with minimum intervention, and it is hugely to the owners’ credit that the setting of the farmhouse remains as it was, with no hint of suburban formality, which can so easily destroy the genius loci.
Photographs of the completed interiors will be shown in due course.
© Nicholas Keeble Associates // Historic Building & Planning Consultants