Conserving and converting with care – each step is as important as the other to the two husband and wife teams drafting and designing every details of their second period conversion of listed farm buildings in the pretty hamlet of Burgh-next-Aylsham.
Drawn together through their personal experiences in building their own homes, Sarah and Clive Thorpe and Richard and Maureen Burr are now in partnership as Manor Conservations Ltd to create four highly distinctive homes from the mid-nineteenth century Manor Farm buildings passed down through Mr Burr’s farming forebears.
These are beautiful old buildings, mainly Grade II listed, in a picturesque setting overlooking the neighbouring water meadows and river valley. Each is individually designed to highlight inherited features and incorporate the best of local craftsmanship in new works. The first conversion, the largest of the four and named The Shire House, went under early offer and is now occupied.
Vision is needed in viewing the emerging form of The Carriage House, released through FPD Savills in Norwich at a guide price of £389,000 but commitment at an early stage does mean the new owners can have an input into finishing detail.
With photographs on display of the finished interior of The Shire House, it is also easy to judge the quality of design, materials – including hardwood floors and locally-made windows and doors – and skills. The Carriage House is listed and the four have faced stringent planning restrictions, particularly with regard to new openings.
Glazing is being introduced between rafters in the vaulted ceiling above the reception hall and internal glazed studwork to create a light and dramatic entrance.
Built of brick under a slate roof, The Carriage House has a handsome arch in its original brickwork which has been taken as a leading feature for the overall design on three sides of the private courtyard. Level changes have been incorporated as a positive design feature – particularly in the raised surround in the dining room with full-length doors to the courtyard.
The farmhouse kitchen, with access to the west-facing garden overlooking the water meadows, is 14ft 7in x 22ft 5in with a flue for an Aga if required. The drawing room, dual aspect and with working inglenook fireplace, will be a wonderful room for entertaining at 24ft x 20ft.
All four bedrooms, the principal with private bathroom and two others with adjoining shower rooms are attractive individual doubles. There is a family bathroom. There is also a study, a utility room, cloakroom, and boiler room for the oil-fired central heating. Parking is in open-fronted bays off the courtyard and beyond these bays, on the extreme end of one wing, is a large, independently-heated room which is ideal as games room, studio, office or store.
Burgh-next-Aylsham, with its part-thatched church, is a delightful hamlet off the Cromer Road, about two miles from Aylsham and 15 miles from central Norwich.
Taken from Eastern Daily Press, Property – Friday, 20 October 2000