Listed Farmhouse in Horsted Keynes

Project Details

Location: Horsted Keynes nr Haywards Heath, West Sussex
Local Authority: Mid Sussex District Council
Size: 270m2 (Existing 216m2)
Completed: 2017

Awards

Highly Commended at 2018 Small Scale Residential Award - Sussex Heritage Trust

Extension and internal alterations to a Grade II listed farmhouse in the High Weald AONB using traditional oak timber box framing and sustainable traditional materials.

The brief was to make improvements to this Grade II listed farmhouse to address a number of difficulties with the property’s existing fabric and layout. The owners did restore the property in 1997 and made it habitable however a number of compromises were made and the house was in need of attention by 2015 and the layout not fit for purpose.

Proposals prepared by DJD involved extending using traditional oak timber box frame.  Ensuring there was an aspect to the garden meant the stair was repositioned and living space provided to access the garden.  A new kitchen arrangement was also achieved allowing in more light and view of the garden.  Bathrooms were updated with improvement to bedrooms as well. The design had to accommodate extremely low ceilings within the original building (causing headaches with building regulations requirements – literally). The scheme achieved consent by careful negotiation with both MSDC Conservation Officer and planning officer.

Having secured consent the owners were keen to use a small local building company.  They offered a unique opportunity for these young tradesmen to use traditional carpentry skills on a listed building, working closely with suppliers, carefully selected by the owners (eg for the bespoke windows and kitchen furniture). This provided links to the original work carried out in 1997 to offer a consistent approach.  There was a particularly positive and supportive working relationship.

There were construction challenges due to the sloping site and restricted access.  A crane had to be used to lift oak bay frames and beams over the house for the new extension to the south.  The new construction had to be well insulated but also breathable.  Care was needed with an exposed oak frame incorporating lime rendered and washed panels.

The majority of the original farmhouse dating from the 16th Century has survived.  The owners have been sympathetic to the original building carrying out research on its history and materials. This small but important piece of Sussex heritage has been extended and altered using sustainable traditional materials to ensure the building has a continuing future as a family home.

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