Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Grand designs

Once or twice I've hinted at the dereliction of the farm buildings surrounding the farmyard. That the decay is the first thing I see as I fling open the curtains. That the sound of crashing timbers and slates wakes you up on a stormy night. That the cob melts after the rain as surely as if it were gingerbread.
The process of restoration is more than slow; it creeps unwillingly in some kind of direction, often backwards. Two years on and we are still at the planning stages. Listed building permission is being sought and there are just a few days left before builders have to put in their tenders. They have swarmed over the site, detailed work specifications in hand, gingerly poking at the realities, hard hatted and serious. They all love the site - it's peaceful, it has adequate access, and there are large dogs to play with. It's a proper job too. There will have to be a site hut, a shipping container for equipment, a new electrical circuit to feed their whizzy bits and a portaloo or two. Big machinery and scaffolding en masse will sit heavily on the ground and change my morning view. There will be brickies (making cob blocks), sparks, thatchers, roofers, chippies, plumbers. There will be all kinds of folks doing all kinds of noisy things.
None of this is for B&B or holiday homes or new houses. The barns are to be restored back to agricultural use: a proper farm workshop; somewhere to keep convalescing livestock; a place to rear poultry; somewhere enclosed to keep feedstuffs and more; a stable for a big, slow horse; a cow pen for milking the dreamed of Dexters and a farrowing pen for a Berkshire sow and a litter of piglets.
When the quotes come in I will close my eyes and be as nervous as a teenager with A-level results in hand.

The photo is of the west side of the courtyard, one of the two larger barns....I truly hope this is a "before" shot that will have a future "after" shot for comparison.


mutterings and meanderings said...

oooh Mopsa, you gonna get a horse?

And why do you want Dexters? Get a proper-sized cow!

Drunk Mummy said...

Just add a couple of bicycle racks to your plans, and the council will rubber-stamp them straight away. That's certainly how several monstrosities have gained planning permission around here.

Eurodog said...

This is great news. No B&B, no holiday lets, great it is actually going to be used properly.
I have a déjà vu situation with your picture. Is the property located on the North Devon coast near Hartland?

Flowerpot said...

so glad to hear that the buildings are going to be used for proper agricultural uses - well done you!

Mopsa said...

M&M: A horse, a horse, of course. But not in the near future. I plan for one to ride round the farm, checking on fences etc with the dogs at my heels. When I'm not having to work so much. And Dexters are quite cow enough for me!
DM: not expecting any probs from the Council, and no-one could call these ancient beauties monstrosities. But I know what ya mean.
ED - nope - it's about a 40 minute drive from the coast.
FP and ED - really appreciate that you understand the desire to keep it as was (but with electricity please).

Around My Kitchen Table said...

What a star you are! Barns for animals - now that's a novel idea these days. Don't listen to 'mutterings and meanderings' - Dexters are lovely.

Rob Clack said...

Sounds fabulous! It will, of course, be appalling for about twice as long as the builders claim (we've now done 3 major refurbishment projects in our house), but wonderful from then on. There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but afterwards you'll look back and say "Yep. Glad we did that."

mountainear said...

That's a proper project. Good luck. Hope there are lots of pictures of the work in progress too.

Mopsa said...

AMKT - thank you - hopefully Dexters don't take as long to acquire as building permissons.
Rob - I know! It's bonkers to dread what you also desire.
M'ear - I suspect the wee Canon will be working overtime.

mutterings and meanderings said...

There's a farm near here that has lots of Dexters. I'll steal one and stuff it my handbag for you!

You'll have to get two horses you know, they need company or they sulk!