Property: 9 amazing conversions to drool over
Advances in technology, shifting populations, reduced budgets and changes in spending and working habits are among the myriad reasons why so many churches, schools, agricultural, municipal and other buildings have become redundant. Fortunately for buyers looking for eclectic, individual homes, these have often been repurposed and converted into wow-factor houses and apartments, replete with original features. From barns and chapels to factories and mills, this selection is currently for sale.
1. Wrentham, Beccles, Suffolk, £425,000
One of a pair of semi-detached houses in Wrentham’s Grade II listed Gothic revival former town hall, which was completed in 1862 and converted in the mid-1980s. Accommodation is arranged over three levels and includes four bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open plan sitting/dining room with a vaulted ceiling and stained glass windows, and a kitchen opening on to a balcony with stairs winding down to a courtyard garden. For sale through Durrants.
2. Forgebraehead, Canonbie, Dumfries & Galloway, offers over £450,000
Church House One is one of two properties in a converted B-listed, mid-19th century church. The three-storey house has four generously-sized bedrooms, four bathrooms, an all-in-one kitchen/living/dining room, a sitting room, study and utility, all finished in neutral tones and incorporating original church windows and exposed beams. Find out more from Finest Properties.
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3. Lauder, Scottish Borders, offers over £550,000
St Leonard’s Mill, a rare Georgian watermill, had been derelict for more than a century before being bought by the current owner who lovingly restored and converted it into a substantial four-bedroom, four-bedroom house. The secluded garden includes the remains of the mill’s piggery, a cabin and outbuildings, and several seating areas where views of the surrounding countryside can be enjoyed. Contact Knight Frank.
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4. Kirby Cane, Bungay, Norfolk, £650,000
Built in 1846, this Methodist chapel was later extended in the same architectural style to house the local school, and is now a lovely four-bedroom family home. The entrance porch still retains the coat hooks once used by pupils and opens into a 32-foot long reception room with a log burner and double doors out to the south-facing garden. The T-shaped main living space is even bigger, with a Shaker-style kitchen along one side, an island and double-height ceiling above the sitting area. For sale through Winkworth.
5. Le Vigan, Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 785,000 euros (approx. £693,979)
As former post offices go, this one is pretty special as it’s perched on a hillside gazing out over glorious countryside, dates back to the 16th century and has an outdoor pool. It comprises two fully restored farmhouses: a five-bedroom main house with a covered terrace that acts as a summer living/dining room, and a second house divided into two self-contained duplex apartments. Both have two bedrooms and private terraces and, being in a green tourism area close to the Cévennes National Park, could easily be rented out as holiday lets. Via Groupe Mercure.
6. Broom Hill, Huntley, Gloucester, £825,000
No prizes for deducing that The Rusty Barn was previously a run-down agricultural building, now transformed into a beautiful, contemporary five-bedroom home. The work was done to a very high standard and incorporates reclaimed materials such as timber and steel in the bespoke staircase leading up to the first floor landing from the open plan kitchen/living/dining room. An air-source heat pump provides underfloor heating, and the low maintenance garden contains a hot tub and sauna. Available through Allen & Harris.
7. Old Annersley, Nottinghamshire, offers over £1m
The glass-covered well in the spacious central hall of the Old Pump House is a reminder that it started life as a Victorian pumping station, supplying water to local villages, prior to being repurposed as a luxury five-bedroom, four-bathroom home. There’s a newly fitted kitchen/breakfast room with a utility area, a dining room, living room, a study/ gym and a galleried landing. On the market through Fine & Country.
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8. Washington DC, USA, $1.75m (approx. £1,418,500)
This two-bedroom, two-bathroom property forms part of an old garage in one of the city’s best neighbourhoods. Set behind the original red-brick façade, its centrepiece is a huge open plan living area complete with soaring ceiling, tall casement windows, sitting and dining areas and a chef’s kitchen fitted with commercial-grade appliances. A mezzanine area above is currently an office but could be used as a den or third bedroom, and there’s a roof terrace and parking. Through Washington Fine Properties.
9. Cricklewood, London NW2, £6.5m
Even though it stretches to over 12,000 square feet, this former aircraft factory is so well-hidden that some of the neighbours don’t know it’s there. Approached via a private gated drive, it consists of three commercial units – suitable as offices, workshops or possibly residential use, subject to planning consent – and a huge, split-level industrial-style apartment. This takes up nearly half the total area and has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, triple height ceilings with glass panels, exposed steel joists and brickwork and south-facing tropical terraces. Through Purplebricks.