Crook Barn Conversion

This was a particularly fine example of a mid-19th century Cumbrian Bank Barn with a later lean-to structure built to accommodate equine equipment.

The barn was in very poor condition when we first got involved.  The lean-to had partially collapsed and the main roof was full of holes which was causing damage to the timbers below and the gable ends of the building.  The main walls were in relatively good condition, but a couple of more hard winters would no doubt have put the entire building in a perilous condition.

The proposal was to convert the building into a four-bed holiday let.  The units would be finished to a high standard, adhering to the National Park’s policy of promoting quality tourism. The area is unspoiled and very beautiful with adjacent bridleway and walks which would be an excellent holiday location.  Neighbours were scant and the proposed use would have no visual or activity impact on any existing residents’ amenity.

The building was to retain the original floor levels, with lower and upper floors and an intermediate level in-between.  The original owl boxes and ‘arrow-slit’ ventilation openings were retained and the original door and window openings have been maintained.  There were two openings which had been fully or partially stopped up.  These have been restored and their original lintels remain in place.  The room layouts have been designed around these openings.  The lean-to was too distressed to rescue, so this was demolished and re-built on its original footprint and finished using reclaimed stone from the original construction.

Although the oak roof structure and local slate cover is brand new, the remainder of the building has retained or re-used existing timbers and stone.  The original stonework has been pointed with lime mortar to improve its resistance to the weather.  The limestone cobbles removed from the shippon floor have been re-laid outside, along with the slate flags lifted from the former animal shelter on the mezzanine floor.

Although the barn’s appearance and detailing is intended to preserve its historic character; it’s more contemporary beneath the skin.  The building is insulated to current new-build standards and an air-source heating and hot water system eliminate the need for gas or oil.  The whole building is fitted out with intelligent heating controls, low-energy LED lighting and has wi-fi throughout.  Outside is a charge point for an electric vehicle.