Derbyshire brewery's 18th century granary is converted into stunning rustic home

An 18th century barn in Derbyshire, which was originally built for a brewery and later housed poultry, has been transformed into a beautiful rustic home.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 3:29 pm
The Barn at Elms Farm, Little Eaton, near Derby, makes a spectacular home.

When builder Ken Tansley first visited the barn at Little Eaton, near Derby, in 2017, it was full of old farming machinery, cow partitioning, and even had ducks and chickens living in a part of it.

Ken, from Interbuild Ltd, said: “We needed to rip a lot out of the building, dig out the floors, do some repointing, and the roof needed to be redone. With it being a listed building, all this preparation and rebuilding work had to be done very carefully and by the book.”

Light and heat were two large factors that had to be taken into consideration during the planning stages. The barn had little-to-no insulation, and what

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Bird's-eye view of the barn's setting within the former farm's complex.

would become the second floor had no access to natural daylight.

To accommodate this, many of the upstairs’ original beams, which the owners had hoped to keep, had to be covered for insulation, and 15 roof windows

were drawn into the plan to bring natural daylight into the top floor rooms.

Two years on, the Barn at Elms Farm has been transformed into a beautiful rural home by owners Fiona and John Smedley.

The building, which was originally a granary for the Little Eaton Brewery Company in 1775, later became part of a working farm which Fiona’s father bought in the 1980s and ran until he retired in 2017. Fiona and her brother took on the malthouse and granary with the aim of turning them into homes.

Fiona has worked to ensure as much of the original structure is incorporated into her home as possible.

She said: “The barn has such a long heritage, and having grown up on the farm, it’s been such a huge part of my own history too. We’ve kept many of the old original beams uncovered, particularly downstairs, and tried to incorporate as many of the inside stone walls as we can without plastering or covering them up.

“The stone floor that you can see has always been here and was actually what used to cover my old horse’s stable! We took the stone up, installed underfloor heating throughout the property, cleaned it up and laid them all down again.”

The L shaped building consists of a lounge, three bedrooms with en-suites, and a sunroom, which used to be an old pigsty, looking out into the garden.

The sunroom, true to its name, invites a plethora of natural daylight and warmth thanks to the bifold doors and two Keylite roof windows.

“There is no attic in the barn, meaning the second floor is literally in the roof. Skylights or roof windows were the obvious choice to help bring natural light into the upstairs rooms,” she said.

“Four of our hard-to-reach Keylite windows are electric, which definitely saves us from having to reach with a pole every time we want some fresh air, or when it rains.

“The three bedrooms all boast two Keylite roof windows, and each en-suite has an added one. The light that the windows bring in is wonderful and really helps to enhance the beauty of the property. We were only saying the other day just how much we love it here,” added Fiona.