When they fell in love with a sixteenth-century property in Gloucestershire, Jeremy and Louise Brown had no idea how much work – and money – it would take to make a period farmhouse habitable. Was it worth the heartache?

 TV House Gloucestershire Period Farmhouse1

An extension built with reclaimed stone houses the kitchen and is attached to the original building by a glazed link

 

TV House Gloucestershire Period Farmhouse1

Bespoke oak units in the kitchen are a perfect match for the exposed beams

 

Louise and Jeremy Brown’s original budget of £70,000 was never going to be enough to repair their large, longneglected, sixteenth-century farmhouse. The pair ended up spending more like £300,000 to turn the Gloucestershire house into their dream home. And it had already cost them £445,000 to buy. With the forced sale of the Browns’ Bristol flat, and the pair having to cash in their pensions, Kevin McCloud aptly described the couple’s finances as a ‘runaway train’.

 TV House Gloucestershire Period Farmhouse2

Formerly the cheese room, the master bedroom has bespoke fitted wardrobes and stripped beams

 

Myriad complications surfaced as soon as building work began, when they discovered that the farmhouse’s dodgy structure made it too dangerous to live in. Kevin wanted them to scale down their grand plans but Jeremy stood firm. ‘If you’re going to do something, it’s worth doing well,’ he said.

Problems aside, there was little doubt that this building was worth saving. The previous owners had left most of it unused and untouched, with fixtures and fittings dating from the mid-sixteenth century. ‘We began to develop a real attachment to the house,’ says Jeremy. ‘It had been neglected for so long, it was as if we were helping it to wake up.’

 TV House Gloucestershire Period Farmhouse4

The main bathroom has modern fittings including a freestanding bath and matching double washbasins

 

TV House Gloucestershire Period Farmhouse4

Louise and Jeremy had a glass lid made to cover the old well that is now in the new kitchen addition

 

The Browns’ commitment and their uncompromising attitude to all the financial headaches was justly rewarded. Traditional lime plaster on the walls, pleasingly wonky floors and a classy mix of antique and contemporary furnishings – as well as a great deal of blood, sweat and tears – have brought this much-loved house well and truly back to life.

Kevins Column

Top self build highlights at Grand Designs Live 2019 hosted by Kevin McCloud

Find top experts, specialist exhibitors and a wealth of inspiration for your self-build or renovation project all under one roof.
visit-award-winning-grand-designs-live-hosted-by-kevin-mccloud
 
 
grand-designs-tv-house-2019-episode-4-hull
Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs TV House 2019 episode 4: The Water Shed in Hull

Find out more about the Hull TV house featured in 2019's Grand Designs TV series, airing on 25th September 2019 on Channel 4 and hosted...
grand-designs-tv-houses-2019
Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs TV Houses 2019: a sneak preview

We've got a sneak preview of the amazing TV Houses featured on 2019's Channel 4 show, hosted by Kevin McCloud and airing in September.
kevin-mccloud-grandest-design-special
Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs' special 20th anniversary episode

To mark Grand Designs' 20th anniversary Kevin McCloud hosted a one-off special show before the new series starts. Find out more about the one-off episode.
grand-designs-the-street-episode-6
Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs The Street episode 6 The Details

We've got all the details of episode 6 of Grand Designs: The Street, first aired on 9th May 2019, at 9pm on Channel 4 and...
grand-designs-the-street-episode-5
Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs The Street episode 5: The details

We've got all the details of episode 5 of Grand Designs: The Street, first aired on 2nd May 2019, at 9pm on Channel 4 and...
grand-designs-the-street-episode-4
Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs The Street episode 4: The Details

We've got all the details of episode 4 of Grand Designs: The Street, aired on 25th April 2019, at 9pm on Channel 4 and hosted...