Butterhills

November 29, 2018

Hidden within the 30-acre site of Butterhills in the North of Devon, the beautiful Linhay has been rescued from a state of ruin.

Butterhills is owned by Nick and Caroline Welch who live there with their two teenage children. Nick’s grandparents bought the land and dwelling that makes up Butterhills in the 1930s, where Nick and Caroline decided to make the beautiful valley, meadows and woods their home in 1989.

When deciding what to do with the ruins of a Linhay in the Butterhills wood, the initial plan was to prevent further deterioration by converting it into an open camping barn for friends and family to use. But following redundancy, Nick and Caroline decided to develop it into an off-the-grid holiday let to provide a source of sustainable income for the family.

Many people would have simply demolished the fragmented, unloved shell, to start from scratch. But Nick and Caroline have lovingly converted it into a stunning, environmentally friendly cottage. Accessed via a cart track, the Linhay’s location gives a feeling of total seclusion whilst being a 10-minute drive from the bustling village of Braunton

The project started in 2014, with materials sourced locally from the surrounding environment. Oak trees in the Butterhills wood were felled and milled to provide the roof timbers. The stonework in the main section of the Linhay was repointed and restored – inside and out – with lime mortar. A contrasting modern extension was also added to the side of the building, to create a shower room.

Nick, a Building Services Engineer by trade, had the skillset to introduce the sustainable water supply, plumbing and the solar electrics. The shower room is a great example of his talents. The project is off grid with no mains electricity, so it was essential to gain as much natural light as possible in the shower room. A rooflight was the perfect answer.

Caroline, who took responsibility for the Linhay’s interior design, décor, furnishing and detailing, decided upon a 1,200mm x 600mm fixed flat rooflight by Roof Maker. Chosen for the sleek design which mostly consisted of glazing, to introduce as much natural light as possible.

“The rooflight is a fantastic feature in the Linhay, our guests have loved it – you can sit on the loo, look up through the branches of the oak trees and watch the buzzards swooping overhead. It also affords a lovely view of the Linhay’s gable end with ancient stonework & cedar soffits and fascias – a great contrast with the clean lines of the rooflight and the shower room. When first installed it brought so much light into the space that we kept thinking the builders had left the site lights on”.

All in all, with the help of a local architect, civil engineer, surveyor, ecologist, builder and carpenter, and of course the oak from the wood – the Linhay was lovingly brought back to life within 7 months. The project was completed within a budget of £50,000, including all fixtures, fittings and furnishings.

This is a story of a labour of love and a building that refused to fall down. A story that truly shows what can be accomplished when choosing restoration over demolition. Caroline and Nick already have exciting plans for more Butterhills-based projects in the future.

Are you considering buying a rooflight or roof lantern for your home? If you are, call Roof Maker on 0116 269 6297. Our rooflight experts will help you to choose the right solution for your needs. Alternatively, visit our showroom or get a quote online.