A once dilapidated barn, formerly on the Buildings at Risk register, is now a stunning three-bedroom dwelling. It offers a quality, modern finish, and showcases the very best traditional building skills from an award-winning traditional building firm.
Happily, the historic building, a former coach house, now boasts both a wealth of traditional and original features, plus all the benefits associated with a modern new build. For example, three beautifully appointed bathrooms. These, along with the luxurious kitchen and lighting throughout, are some of the many aspects of the project personally designed by Emmerson Critchley Ltd’s founder and Managing Director, Emmerson Marshall-Critchley.
The Grade II Listed barn first came under the ownership of Emmerson Critchley Ltd in November 2018. At that time, it was a draughty, skeletal shell of a building in an utterly rundown state, and with daylight streaming in through parts of the roof. This was particularly poignant given its well documented role as an important part of local heritage within the heart of the historic market town of Sudbury.
In bygone times, passing tradesman and visitors reputedly paid a fee of one penny to stable a horse in the coach house, (part of the barn now under the ownership of Emmerson Critchley Ltd), while they were able to go and enjoy the offerings of the Black Boy public house. The rest of the barn was the brewhouse for the historic pub.
The team at Emmerson Critchley Ltd was utterly inspired by the barn’s rich history and the opportunity to save the building. They also enjoyed working closely with the local Conservation team, all of whom were very supportive of the works and the highly knowledgeable approach of the Emmerson Critchley Ltd team.
Throughout, the project sought to preserve and showcase as many of the barn’s wonderful features as possible. For example, the timber frame and ironwork from the original loose boxes, which would have housed visiting horses. Likewise, the original brickwork from the stable floor with beautifully worn bricks, no doubt trodden down by untold numbers of hooves from a period in history when transport was equine.
Furthermore, this development project totally resonates with the firm’s ethos of restoring and respecting traditional buildings, and concurrently giving them a new lease of life. Likewise, it draws on the skill of the team to add all the latest fixtures and fittings, whilst also retaining a true sense of the building’s own identity. Finally, it also displays the very best in traditional building techniques and materials. For example, the detached barn conversion is adorned with pargeting work by a local master pargeter, (a valued member of the Emmerson Critchley Ltd team). Furthermore, the stunning oak staircase is handmade.
Far from being a standard development, this project seeks to extol the virtues of traditional building techniques. Indeed, it aims to set a new standard in which high quality modernity is delivered using time honoured skills.
Emmerson Marshall-Critchley explains: “I am so proud that the firm has rescued this wonderful barn, giving it a new lease of life and a fresh purpose. It will stand for numerous future generations to enjoy, making a wonderful place in which to live. We utilised all our traditional building skills and expertise to sympathetically restore this wonderful, historic barn. We also gave this barn every inch of the same benefits associated with a new build. I am so delighted with the result, and I want to thank all members of the team for their support and passion for this exciting project.”
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