The ivy clad farmhouse at Ednovean farm, that occupies a site once used for a Medieval chapel has the mellow dignity of a building loved by time. Ednovean it holds a little secret close to its heart, a little secret of its previous life as a historic 17th-century barn before its renovation to become our home of today.
As we created our home at Ednovean it was important to us not only to honour the integrity of the old building but to reuse or recycle as many of the original materials as we could. And so a massive renovation of a trio of Farm buildings began that was to stretch from 1990 until the year 2000.
Ednovean a long love affair
I think my love affair with Ednovean started back in the 1970’s when I first saw the semi derelict building, bought at auction by my father…
Perhaps initially the barn at Ednovean Farm wasn’t too promising as a home with a back wall that had collapsed, a front wall dangerous bowing “supported” with a natty iron cross and half of the roof on the upper story floor. The lower cow sheds were full of boat engines and there was a wrecked car abandoned beside a rock in the farmyard. – actually we still have the rock!
The barn went on to become a haven and sanctuary and centre for an equestrian business and of course many years later it was to become our home and the heart of our luxury Bed and Breakfast business
Converting a redundant barn to a home – the ultimate recycling project for a building
So generally our home at Ednovean has been an exercise in recycling, reclaiming and reworking before the idea off up recycling ever became fashionable. There is always a little touch of the magpie collector thrown in too of course!
Take a look around the reclaimed materials at Ednovean Farm
Ships timbers – reused from the old barn
I’ve always loved the old hand azed ships timbers and saved them carefully, when the building inspector insisted they should go. Still the creation of a guest sitting room allwed us to reinstate them (decoratively) Once they were reinstalled, I was thrilled to see the pebble that I had first spotted as a teenager, when creosoting the beams . It was still wedged in a peg hole but I now dutifully hand waxed the beams with 01 steel wool.
The door you see are reclaimed too of course and they have been carefully sanded, oiled and hand waxed.
The worn granite stones
The pink bedroom bathroom for instance is reached by a narrow door framed by granite that had been worn smooth by centuries of farm workers walking through it to feed the animals. I sometimes like to imagine these long ago people ducking under the beams to cross the cobbled floor maybe with a lantern in their hands. There are more pictures of the building conversion work on our “About Us” page
Repurposing floor boards to window cills
We managed to save enough of the original floorboard to make beautiful broad window sills. They still bear the unmistakable traces of boring by ship’s beetles – probably the best beetle holes are in the Pink bathroom
Sourcing reclaimed materials
Reclamation yard finds
If we could not reuse the original material, we trawled reclamation yards and I can still remember the old slates that became our hall floor being merrily bounced off of the back of a pickup truck by the flamboyant, flip-flop clad Trader Gray.
Upcycling and refinishing
Sanding, oiling and re-waxing doors and furniture became a way of life and I still love trawling sale rooms and bric-a-brac shops for pieces with the right look for us to up cycle with a painted finish.
The passage of time
Our mellow hall has mellowed over time with oiled and waxed beams complimenting the old flagstoned floor.
Repairing don’t replace the everyday objects that make a home!
Simple everyday object that have finished one useful life can have new purpose and I delight in the unique. I was pleased recently to hear that the European Union were looking at the right to repair, as items have an increasingly short working life with no viable spare parts available to tradesmen.
Our beautiful Rayburn that should have lasted a lifetime is a great example of this. I spotted it for sale in the small ads of the local paper. Although it had to be hoarded it in a horse trailer for a year until the barn was ready for its kitchen. Finally it was carefully lifted into place by the fork lift of a tractor and manhandled across the floor.
The Rayburn gently warmed our home and cooked breakfast for years until the time came to replace the burners. Sadly the gas fitter found them to be obsolete as “Aga Rayburn had not renewed the patent”. I haven’t given up yet though in my quest for reasonable repair!
Sourcing original workmanship
The love of the handmade has led us to trace the unusual or commission the pieces we wanted whether they be statement pieces or decorative details – the gates to our garden formed from the old farmyard were made for us by an artisan blacksmith
Sale room finds
Sometimes old and sometimes new – recycled saleroom finds rub shoulders with modern decorators objects in our interiors at Ednovean Farm
Our garden over the years has gained many treasures too starting from the worn granite sets from the Old post office in Newlyn that from the entrance, to the granite blocks that edge the parterre that were reclaimed from Prince William yard in Plymouth
Charles and I think we know every stone of the old building! Which was just as well as we’ve probably moved most of them over the years, to make our home as it is today!
The next step in the transition from historic barn to farmhouse was to be the landscaping of the old farmyard. This was to settle the building into its new landscape. So the story continued with a formal and sub tropical garden around the former farmyard