Barn Conversion Gets Green light at Brancepeth Manor Farm

Brancepeth Manor Farm might not be a name familiar to many but in equestrian circles it is recognised as the location where famous jockey, Richard Guest, trained a number of successful racehorses.

Horses trained at Brancepeth Manor Farm were winners at a number of internationally renowned races, including Cheltenham Festival, before Red Marauder romped home to victory in the 2001 Grand National – with Richard Guest as jockey.

The hilltop site was formerly owned by Norman Mason but became available after he vowed to give up training horses and move abroad.  The farm therefore presented a particularly rare opportunity to a buyer, with the manor house, stables and jockey cottages spread across 341 acres of land in County Durham.

Today, the farm and associated buildings have been transformed into a small number of bespoke homes creating a new community of residents to enjoy the peaceful surroundings of Brancepeth Manor Farm.  We have had the pleasure of being involved in the design of a number of properties at this unique location and are currently working with Graeme Blenkinsopp and his wife Louise on the largest plot at Brancepeth, Lake View.

Lake View will be the location of a bespoke barn conversion set to become the Blenkinsopp family home.  The plot features different outlooks and is enclosed on one side by woodland overlooking a large lake and on the other exposed to the elements of the hilltop location.  Partial landscaping has already been completed with an enclosed entertainment area currently under construction to shield guests from wind whilst they enjoy the large hot tub and outdoor seating sunken into the garden.

A circular designed garden feature has been erected in recognition of the precise location of where Red Marauderwould pace the ground for many an hour in the exercise circles.

At the end of the garden, a private gym and studio space has already been constructed to allow the family to exercise in a private building overlooking the lake and woodland.  Designed by Blake Hopkinson, the wooden-clad building blends into the secluded wooded area with contemporary touches to be replicated on the main property.

The barn itself will become a three-bedroom home split over two levels.  The generously proportioned rooms will sit within the main building which will retain the shape of the existing barn.  This cavernous property will be clad externally in Western red cedar vertical boards and batten timber cladding along with stone panel cladding to the front elevation.  This will help to mirror the woodland surroundings but create a strong modern aesthetic in this most traditional of rural settings.

The roof will be constructed of standing seam Quartz Zinc sheet cladding but in an unusual touch, this will be wrapped down the rear elevation with a hidden gutter running the full length of the house to complement the cedar cladding and aluminium windows.

The interiors will make excellent use of the cavernous space offered by the existing footprint of the barn with open-plan entertaining and family areas on the ground floor and a two-storey hallway making full use of the expansive views of the local countryside through floor to ceiling windows.  A bridge walkway will connect the living areas on both sides of the house on the first floor including a master bedroom with balcony overlooking the lake.

This is a project with strong design credentials, turning a disused barn into a modern and contemporary family space in an historic and exceptional rural location.  As you can imagine, we’re quite excited to get underway at this particular scheme with the final property expected to be completed by 2019.

We’ll be sharing updates along the way showcasing progress as it happens so keep an eye out for new details on Brancepeth Manor Farm as the project moves forward.