The house was formerly the manse for the local chapel, and is around 110 years old. After a short spell as a private dwelling it was run as a B&B for 25 years until 2000, when I bought it and shortly afterwards added the surrounding land. Part of the ground floor was converted to an independent living space where my father lived for several years and could easily be returned to that if required, as the plumbing for a kitchen is still present and the bathroom hasn’t been changed. His former kitchen/living room is now a spacious sun lounge with huge windows looking out over the valley.
The main bedroom, with its ensuite bathroom, has been extended by adding the original box room. The main bathroom, which replaced a pair of shower rooms for the B&B guests, has a large freestanding bath and very large shower. The house is mostly double glazed and it was rewired about 7 years ago. There’s wisteria and clematis on the gable and roses all around house.
I’ve added a large gasifying log burner in one of the sheds with a 1500 litre scandinavian heat store, which runs on wood I cut myself, and a backup oil system that was entirely renewed last year along with the house radiators. A solar thermal system (30 tube Viessmann) provides all my hot water in the Summer, and reduces the heating needed in the Winter. Water comes from my own well, and there is off-grid sewage.
I’ve installed fast broadband (35Mb/s symmetric wireless) and I also run the phone over the net so there are no landline costs.
Suitable as a family home with considerable potential for rural enterprise, either land or workshop based, it could also be turned to equestrian use in fairly short order. The land is registered as an agricultural holding, which enables participation in Single Farm Payment-based schemes: currently the wetland is in the Glastir arrangement, bringing in a few hundred a year, and the woodlands were planted with help from the Forestry Commission (now part of Natural Resources Wales). New working buildings are also subject only to minimal planning requirements.
The main stone and slate former cowshed is suitable for conversion to an annexe.
All of the outbuildings have been converted to workshops with light and power. There are two freight containers adjoining for further storage, and a large covered woodstore between them.
About 19 acres surround the property, largely woodland (native broadleaf) and walnut orchards (I used to graft and sell the trees) with some wetland, some overgrown pasture, a large pond and 200m plus of river.
The place has been managed organically since 2000 (though Soil Association membership ended several years ago) and there’s a great deal of potential for a permacultural approach. Lots and lots of mature trees, several acres of more recent planting, small hedged fields, a rainwater catchment system and plenty of room for polytunnels all offer the prospect of approaching self-sufficiency in food and fuel along with surplus for sale or processing.
There’s massive bird life from kites and buzzards, woodpeckers and wrens, pheasants and owls to more songbirds than I can name. Here’s a family of three owls staring into my bedroom last summer:
Total house area is approximately 165 sq m (1778 sq feet).