Breathing new life into an historic barn in the Cotswolds

11 March 2016 by Matt Trace in Construction/Architectural

Breathing new life into an historic barn in the Cotswolds

When Mr & Mrs Shackle purchased a listed cottage and outbuilding in the heart of the historic market town of Cirencester, they had very clear ideas of the high standard in which it was to be renovated. 

The Grade II Listed property, situated on an old Roman road, consisted of the main house and an old outbuilding. The smithy had been severely damaged by fire and the roof was rebuilt under the strict supervision of English Heritage and the local Conservation Officer, to ensure that the integrity of the building remained true to its historic past. 

After 12 months of renovation, both the house and barn are near completion and the Shackles have created a stunning new contemporary living space throughout. This is particularly true of the old smithy, which now acts as the couple’s main living quarters. Clever use of light from what was a dark unwelcoming environment, has maximized every inch of space available and breathed new life into the beautiful old historic building.

Mrs Shackle said: “Having given up my job as a project manager, to give this project my full attention, I have been able to source the right materials to achieve the desired look through meticulous research. It was extremely important for us to make sure all the materials used were sympathetic to the character of the building, and we simply weren’t prepared to compromise on quality.”

Following extensive research for the most suitable rooflights to match their high specifications and, of course, would be acceptable to the Conservation Department, the Shackles selected the Stella Conservation Rooflight. This product, which authentically replicates a traditional Victorian design, is specifically designed for installation in period properties. With a low profile design and fine lines of steel the Stella Conservation rooflight blends beautifully with the modern day architectural look the Shackles were trying to create.

Mrs Shackle said: “We have been particularly impressed with the design of the Conservation rooflight as it is unobtrusive and sympathetic to the external architecture of the building. Our Architect was particularly pleased with the design and it has been one of the more simplistic elements of an otherwise complex and complicated renovation.”

Stella rooflights also benefit from a high specification of glazing including Pilkington Activ self-cleaning glass, a solid American Ash timber liner and a choice of solid brass winding mechanisms for the interior aspect. It is these quality touches that have really impressed the Shackles. 

Mrs Shackle said: “We have been so impressed with Stella and their rooflight. It’s well made with a beautiful wood surround on the inside, which softens the look. It also has a slim line frame, which maximizes the light coming in and the custom made blinds give a smart, snug appearance. The opening mechanism works like a dream and offers a great deal of adjustment.”

It has been a huge challenge to balance the traditional period features with new modern materials and turning an old and dark building into a stunning, bright modern new living space.  This has been achieved in no small part thanks to the Stella Conservation rooflight.