Leign Farm Barns

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Dartmoor National Park
Richard Downer
Our clients needed an architect in Dartmoor National Park to provide them with a Full architectural service for their Conversion of two heritage barns.

Leign Farm Barns are located on an 80 acre farm set in a picturesque valley west of Moretonhampstead. The historic Dartmoor farmhouse was largely rebuilt in the early 1900’s and commands panoramic views of the valley. The farm group also contains five stone barns that date back to the 16th century.

Van Ellen + Sheryn have extensive experience in upgrading country properties across Dartmoor and Devon, and were appointed to breathe new life into the barns by converting them into additional living space for the main farmhouse. The farmhouse was fully refurbished and extended on 3 sides.

Barn 1 was a stone and timber linhay barn, with massive granite walls and columns at ground floor, and a lightweight timber trussed structure above. The whole building was set into the hillside and dropped along it’s length to follow the gentle sideways slope. Retaining the beautiful timber and granite structure was a labour of love both at the design stage and on-site to ensure the fabric could be kept in place throughout the build. The timber trusses have been shored up to allow them to continue performing their original function of holding up the new roof structure.

The granite columns were set into newer stone walling in the past. By removing this stonework, the granite columns were revealed, and glazing was inserted between these to retain the originally open-sided linhay appearance. Timber cladding and a corrugated steel roof complete the look. Inside, all the original structure has been left exposed to fully appreciate the character of the building, and with glazing inserted between the regular rhythm of column and truss, views out towards the Dartmoor hills are framed.

Barn 2 had been heavily adapted over the years and the only original structure remaining was the perimeter granite walls. The approach was to reinstate the pitched roof structure over this, but as no original roof structure was left, the new insertion was decidedly modern in its minimal approach.

The entire area around the house and barns has been landscaped to a high standard, with formal planting blending out and away into the wild Dartmoor landscape surrounding the house and barns.

We have worked with the team at van Ellen and Sheryn on 6 projects as there Principle Contractors.
3 of the projects have been in a National park and one on a listed building within the National park – this particular project was the first building to gain planning permission of its type – no small achievement and a credit to the practice. They are a very approachable practice who interpret the clients requirements with some original and practical design features that also meet the budget. The release and quality of the information on the drawings is clear and easy to work to. Each project has been better than the last – looking forward to working with the team on the next one!

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