17th Century Cottage


This cottage is situated near Wallingford, Oxon. It was built in the early part of 17th century and although Grade II listed, little of the original building remained. Over the years, the property had been remodelled, destroying or covering most of the original structure and features. In more recent years, the place had been neglected and was on the point of ruin. Working with a conservation architect and the local district council conservation department, Dunne & Co carefully stripped back the cottage to reveal the remains of the original structure and rebuilt it from the ground up. Traditional techniques and materials were used throughout.

The cottage had no foundations, so the foot of the walls were stabilised where necessary. The original oak framework of the building was uncovered. The original timber frame with lime infill walls had deteriorated and had been substantially replaced with very strong sand & cement structure. The framework was disassembled and re-built. New green oak joists and beams were incorporated where necessary and carefully aged to blend with the original framework. Sheepswool provided modern insulation values by using a traditional eco-friendly material. Traditional lath and plaster panels within the timber framework returned the cottage to its original construction, using chestnut laths and lime plaster. Similarly, the exterior walls were lime rendered. The original inglenook fireplace was uncovered beneath layers of modern brickwork. We carefully restored it, and even found the old pegs that used to hold the cooking pots above the fire. The cottage was completely re-roofed, additional dormers added, and the 1960’s windows were replaced with wooden cottage style with discrete double glazing.

In conjunction with the works to the cottage, a new extension was added to the rear of the property, to provide a utility room, shower room and an upstairs bathroom. The dilapidated garage block to the front of the property was extended, refurbished and converted into a studio with double garage. It was built in the 1950’s and had no architectural merit, but the redesigned facade of the building is now in harmony with the style of the cottage.
The result is a lovely period cottage with the advantages of modern conveniences subtly incorporated.