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Devon architects restoring the heart of historic village

— 23 Feb 2018


Snow on the newly thatched roof


The west elevation showing the new extension to the rear


Our new oak louvred gable helps disguise service ventilation avoiding large vent pipes through the roof


Durable weathered corrugated steel roofing echo's vernacular agricultural buildings in the area


New exposed oak roof structure


New oak roof structure and glazed ridge to the shippon


Jonathan Rhind Architects have been working on a series of projects helping to enhance the centre of a historic village in North Devon.

The exterior of the Farmers Arms Pub is nearing completion and we are now working with the interior design team to bring the inside of this central historic building back to life.

Works began in Woolsery – or Woolfardisworthy to give the village its full name – in November 2016, with our team selected to lead the repair, conservation and development of the Farmers Arms pub and Manor House.

It is thought that the Farmers Arms served as a pub for all of its 300-year life, however the final ‘last orders’ were called in 2012. Parts of the Manor House are thought to date back to medieval times, and work is underway to turn it into a 19-bedroom hotel and café.

The collection of buildings in the rural Devon village was bought by entrepreneurs and founders of social networking site, Bebo, Michael & Xochi Birch. Michael has fond memories of the village as a child, but he was saddened to see the dilapidation of these central buildings upon returning later in life. So, he bought the properties with view of restoring them to their former glory.

John Alexander, director of Jonathan Rhind Architects said: “This has been a hugely enjoyable project, with many design, operational and construction challenges. We have many different teams to coordinate as lead consultants and it is fantastic to see it coming together."

“Externally, the majority of the external work to the public house is complete. The next phase is for us and the interior design teams to realise Michael and Xochi’s vision.  Scaffolding is currently being erected around the Manor House so repair works can start.” 

John added: “We’re extremely pleased with how the project has progressed and are looking forward to seeing the buildings back at the heart of this close-knit North Devon community once more.”

To find out more about our architectural work in Devon, see our case studies here.

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