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 Wood Farm Carbrooke


Wood Farm is a Grade II listed farmhouse with surrounding  ancillary buildings and a workers bungalow. While the 17C house remains intact it has had a number of interventions over its lifetime some of which have detracted from its historical significance. Being derelict for 2 ½ years it was worthy of preservation but many of the alterations, especially those that occurred to the 17C portion when the latter 19C south wing was added have detracted from the historical significance of the original. Modification made in the 1950’s have further detracted both internally and externally.

The proposed alterations and renovations were done in close collaboration with the LA Historical officer and involved local builders and craftsmen, including the major repair of the timber roof structures of house and barns, hand made replacement windows, and the opening up of the interior spaces to expose original timber framework. The original post and beam frame had been exposed to the elements with concrete render between, and the result was that the original structure and fabric had started to rot away. Structural repairs had previously occurred to the Victorian extension where it had started to lean away from the original house, and the 1950’s additional were suffering from rising damp.

The Historical officer gave us an immense amount of advice and support on this project, and with his input we proposed to completely re-clad the building in a breathable lime based render, and replace a number of the modified windows with new casement and sash styles located within the appropriate parts of the house. This tidied up the jumble of window styles into a more coherent pattern.  A rotting logia and semi collapsed bay window were removed from the side south elevation and replaced with pairs of bifold doors, while long 50’s style windows were replaced with Victorian sashes completely reviving the south façade and reconnecting it to the lawn with a simple patio space.

Renovation inside saw the removal of a very steep tight Victorian staircase with a new sweeping design. To accommodate this larger staircase the current front door was changed into a window and a new main entrance was created into the Victorian extension where there was an existing window, transforming one of the reception rooms intro a large front hallway. The original 17C entrance was also retained for historical reasons. The dormer windows were remodelled to catslide which was considered more befitting the local vernacular. Some the original internal walls were opened up (the frame being kept and exposed) to the rear Victorian extension, creating views and connection through the house interior, and helping to bring more light into the centre of the dwelling.

During construction the entire roof had to be rebuilt due to structural damage and rot, the existing irregularities to the ridge had to be replicated as part of the Listed works. Some original details were found such as old windows and a bread oven, and these were retained and exposed as part of the interior works.

The project included the repair and renovation of the surrounding farm buildings including bringing back to life a completely dilapidated farmhands lodge, and re-roofing a barn.

‘Architecture through Construction – Construction through Architecture’