Restoration Home – One Year On catches up with featured stories from Restoration Home, the series that follows the high risk challenge of brave individuals as they attempt to breathe new life into an old building. Recapping the struggles they endured and to reveal their continuing fortunes, Restoration Home – One Year On follows up on fresh history leads which have come to light since the original show aired. It’s a chance to look closely at the methods they’ve used and to marvel at just how it’s done.
Abbey Lane/Sandford House
Sandford House in Newport-on-Tay in Fife is an arts and crafts masterpiece that dates back to 1902. It’s a category b historic property, the second highest listing for buildings at risk in Scotland. It was originally built as a family home, but it had spent nearly half its life as a three-star hotel. Over recent years, though, it had been abandoned and had fallen into serious disrepair. Ralph Webster and Evelyn Hardy were both keen DIY-ers and they leapt at the chance of restoring Sanford House.
In the village of Southam, Warwickshire, is number one, Abbey Lane. For decades it seems to have passed under the radar. Even though it’s thought to date from Tudor times, it had never been given formal protection as a listed building. The last owner had lived here for over 50 years, and when it was put on the market it was clear to anyone who looked that it needed a lot of work. But locals Sally and Stuart Forgan took up the challenge and paid £330,000 for the house.
Coulton Mill/The Elms
Nestling in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside is a collection of rural buildings, some of which date back to the 1700s. This is Coulton Mill. For centuries the old water mill had turned grain into flour, but it stopped working just after the second world war. Now its ancient wooden machinery was gradually rotting away. The property had a grade II listing. It came with ten acres of land and needed a lot of work. But Yorkshire man, Nick Burrows and his American wife, Heather were determined to rescue it.
The Elms is an early Georgian house that must have been one of the grandest houses for miles around when it was built. But for the last eight years it stood empty and was almost a ruin. Then, three generations of the Holmwood family came along. Suzanne, her son Gavin, his partner Ann, and their six year old daughter Kaitlin. But the house was in such a terrible state, it was going to cost more to restore than it did to buy. They budgeted £180,000 to do the work. To help with the costs, Gavin’s mum, Suzanne, also invested.
Coldbrook Farm/Old Manor
Set deep in the beautiful Monmouthshire countryside in South Wales is Coldbrook Farm. Two years ago it looked like any other rundown farmhouse. But inside there was some exceptional Tudor timberwork that in the past had earned it a grade II listing. The farmhouse was owned by Bill Parry and Kim Harris. During the week they lived and worked in London but for the past 12 years they’d used Coldbrook as a weekend home.
Our next restoration home is Old Manor, a grade II listed house in the central Norfolk village of Saham Toney. When we first visited two years ago old manor was on its last legs, full of damp, woodworm and death watch beetle. You’d have thought this was the last restoration project anyone would consider taking on. But solicitor Polly Grieff and her French husband Erich fell in love with the place. Polly paid £400,000 to buy old manor. The plan was to sell their Liverpool home and move to Norfolk because this was where her family originally came from.