New Lights In Old Windows

Over the past 10 years, the Duchy has invested almost £10m in the restoration and repair of its historic and public buildings. This includes a diverse range of initiatives across all Surveys, from works to ensure that heritage buildings remain wind- and water-tight for future generations to enjoy, to larger scale community-led projects and conservation works to protect and preserve historic buildings, bringing them back into active use for the benefit of their communities.

One such project has been the repurposing of three stone-built redundant barns in the curtilege of a 1747 Grade II listed farmhouse on the Wyreside estate in Lancashire. Banton’s Farm Barns have been sympathetically restored, rebuilt and refurbished to create three new, individually designed and energy-efficient homes for local families. The three units, which have been certified ‘B’ in terms of their energy performance rating, received over 4,800 hits online and were let to local families within weeks of completion.

In accordance with the Duchy’s sustainable design guide, the new homes have been built using local materials such as Cumbrian slate and local stone, and benefit from heating and hot water systems fed by ground source heat pumps. They also include natural wool carpeting and underlay throughout, as well as marmoleum, a floor covering created out of natural raw materials with no use of synthetic materials such as PVC / plastic or polyolefin used in the manufacturing process. Swift boxes have been built into the exterior walls and bat and bird boxes installed in the surrounding woodland. A native mixed hedgerow, interspersed with trees, will line one side of the access drive and each of the houses has access to an EV charging point.

Commenting on the project, the Duchy’s Head of Rural Restoration Lara Thompson said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to be able to bring these beautiful old buildings back to life and to make them available to local families. They are a clear manifestation of the Duchy’s commitment to improving the long-term sustainability of its property portfolio and to enhancing the rural landscape for the benefit of local communities. Families, particularly those in rural areas, are increasingly looking for flexible interior spaces which combine contemporary comfort with traditional styling. These new homes have been designed to meet that need, both today and for future generations.”

The three new homes – renamed Jubilee Barn, Banton’s Barn and Banton’s Stable – can be found on Chipping Road, approximately half a mile south of the picturesque village of Dolphinholme and just seven miles south of the city of Lancaster. It is part of the Duchy’s Wyreside estate which, together with estates in Whitewell, Myerscough and Salwick, makes up the historic Lancashire Survey.