Grand Designs flour mill : Grand Designs Magazine Grand Designs flour mill

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

The Grand Designs flour mill in Liskeard, Cornwall, dates back 500 years and had been abandoned for more than 60 years when Leigh and Richard set their sights on it.

In the final episode of the early 2021 series of Grand Designs, Kevin McCloud meets the dynamic couple, who moved from Derbyshire to Cornwall to undertake the conversion of the near-derelict building. Despite being full of rotten timbers, riddled with structural cracks and strewn with rusty machinery and millstones, Leigh and Richard were determined to make it their home.

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

Kevin McCloud with Leigh and Richard outside the Grand Designs flour mill. 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 a budget of only £250,000, Richard and Leigh’s highly ambitious plan was to faithfully restore the outside and retain as much of the history and magic inside as possible.

But they also needed to create a warm and contemporary three-bedroom home, and they planned to complete the flour mill conversion in just 12 months.

Unwelcome discoveries

Employing traditional craftsmen to start work on restoring the exterior, it wasn’t long before the true scale of the damage to the walls, structure and roof was revealed. As the money poured out, Richard and Leigh were forced to do more and more work themselves – including almost all the interiors.

Exhausted, alone and with the Covid-19 pandemic making materials and labour difficult to get hold of, the battle to finish the flour mill conversion became all consuming.

Grand Designs flour mill

Photo: Channel 4

How did they fair? Watch the Grand Designs flour mill episode on All4 to find out.