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Renovating a 500 year old flour mill in Cornwall

This amazing Cornish building has been painstakingly renovated into a stylish home

By Hugh Metcalf | 3 February 2021

This Grand Designs converted flour mill in Cornwall is 500 years old and had been abandoned for more than 60 years.

In the final episode of the lockdown series of Grand Designs from early 2021, Kevin meets dynamic duo Leigh and Richard, who moved from Derbyshire to Cornwall to undertake the renovation and conversion of a near-derelict 500-year-old flour mill that had been abandoned for more than 60 years.

Full of rotten timbers, riddled with structural cracks and strewn with rusty machinery and millstones, the risk takers decide this is the unlikely place they want to make home.

Kevin McCloud outside the old flour mill in cornwall from Grand Designs 2021

Photo: Channel 4

 

Renovating on a budget

Taking a huge leap of faith, they put their business on hold and sold their house to move 250 miles to live in a caravan on site. With no experience of building or restoration, and only £250,000 to play with, Richard and Leigh’s highly ambitious plan is to faithfully restore the outside and retain as much of the history and magic inside as possible – while also creating a warm, contemporary three bedroom home. It’s an almighty balancing act to pull off, especially in the 12 months they’ve given themselves.

This Grand Designs converted flour mill in Cornwall is 500 years old and had been abandoned for more than 60 years.

In the final episode of the lockdown series of Grand Designs from early 2021, Kevin meets dynamic duo Leigh and Richard, who moved from Derbyshire to Cornwall to undertake the renovation and conversion of a near-derelict 500-year-old flour mill that had been abandoned for more than 60 years.

Full of rotten timbers, riddled with structural cracks and strewn with rusty machinery and millstones, the risk takers decide this is the unlikely place they want to make home.

Kevin McCloud outside the old flour mill in cornwall from Grand Designs 2021

Photo: Channel 4

 

Renovating on a budget

Taking a huge leap of faith, they put their business on hold and sold their house to move 250 miles to live in a caravan on site. With no experience of building or restoration, and only £250,000 to play with, Richard and Leigh’s highly ambitious plan is to faithfully restore the outside and retain as much of the history and magic inside as possible – while also creating a warm, contemporary three bedroom home. It’s an almighty balancing act to pull off, especially in the 12 months they’ve given themselves.

Image: Channel 4

Unwelcome discoveries

Employing traditional craftsmen to start work on restoring the exterior, it’s not long before the true scale of the damage to the walls, structure and roof is revealed. As money pours out, Richard and Leigh are forced to do more and more work themselves – including almost all the interiors. Exhausted, alone and with a pandemic to contend with, as the months go by the battle to finish the mill becomes all consuming.

With costs spiralling and the success of their project hanging in the balance, will Leigh and Richard have the nerve to make it through this extensive renovation?

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