Grand Designs – Hillcot Barn

RRA Architects > Grand Designs – Hillcot Barn
  • Hillcot Barn is a stone threshing barn located in the village of Hope Mansell near the Forest of Dean, and was featured on Channel Four’s Grand Designs series in April 2006. This hilltop structure, adjacent to rolling farmland and woodland, was a raw canvas, unspoilt by progress. As a threshing barn the structure has narrow arrow-slit windows, which provide natural ventilation and limited daylight where grain would be stored, and two large opposing openings to capture wind to facilitate the threshing of the wheat.
  • Status: Completed 2006
  • Location: Hope Mansell, Forest of Dean
  • Value: £400k
  • Contractor: Client
  • Structural Engineer: Shire Consulting
  • Photo Credit: Infinity Unlimited
  • Planning Consultant: CgMs
  • Specialist Steelwork: Thomas' Forge
  • Categories: Barn Conversions, Conservation / Heritage, Residential-Private Housing
  • Tags: ANOB, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Conservation / Heritage, Herefordshire, Refurbishment, Residential Private Housing, Sustainability

The design celebrates stone structure, shelter and daylight, using the high vantage point to great effect. RRA’s conservation skills were used to great effect, to facilitate stone repair, using Cintec Anchors to shore up cracked walls and of lime repointing within the historic structure. To meet the client’s budget constraint off site manufacture was adopted, principally as a cost saving measure.

The essence of this Grand Design was to rest lightly on the fabric of the old barn, whilst inserting a “Manhattan-on-Wye” accommodation standard.

RRA ‘pods’ were employed to create, a kitchen, a dressing room, bathrooms, an ensuite and a TV snug. Each ‘pod’ was made off-site and assembled within a pre-prepared position for easy service connection.

The steel floor deck and the raised roof was the ingenious architectural design feature, which was the subject of Kevin McCloud’s design scrutiny. The elevated roof ensured ventilation and daylight could be introduced into the building without the need for new windows, or enlargement of the arrow-slit windows, which would have destroyed the historic feel of this centuries old structure.

The Grand Design episode can be watched via our RRA media page.