Leign Farm Barns

Keep Scrolling
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 commissioned van Ellen & Sheryn to design a new purpose built cookery school building in Ashburton which was opened in 2010 along with subsequent extensions to the building in more recent years.

As a customer facing business we welcome thousands of people from around the world to spend large amounts of time (up to 6 months) within our building, so it is imperative that it is welcoming and attractive from the outside and a light and enjoyable space to work in.

van Ellen & Sheryn showed an excellent understanding of the brief and gave us multiple, well-visualised concepts to help us focus towards a finished concept and plans.

We are sited within Dartmoor Park conservation area which brings with it special considerations of materials and design, and much time was saved by having architects experienced of working within these parameters. There were no issues gaining planning permission.

The finished build is exactly as visualised and designed by the architects – an outstanding building to look at and work in that makes the most of the site within which it sits and is a delight to work in.

Several years later the business needed to expand and we commissioned van Ellen & Sheryn for the extensions. This was a tricky brief, adding on two new dining rooms to the existing facade and had the potential of spoiling the strength of the original design. Their design has actually strengthened the impact of the facade of the building which is quite an achievement.

I would recommend van Ellen & Sheryn architects for projects of all sizes. They are a modern architect studio, small enough to care about all their projects, but experienced enough to cope with projects of all sizes. I feel they offer extremely good value. The work they have executed for us is contemporary yet looks better as time moves on – the sign of a great architect.

Starting a new

Book a free consultation.


Next project

Voted Best
On Houzz!

Our projects have won numerous awards, voted for by Houzz's 40 million users. Houzz is a great way to get inspired, discover products and collaborate with us on ideas for your home.