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Garth Gell

North Wales

This farmhouse still has no electricity. Dating from 1805, it was abandoned in 1948, and remained empty for 40 years – aside from providing shelter for sheep in bad weather.

We have restored the farmhouse and outbuildings close to their original state (with a few minor improvements such as running water). The roof was re-covered in thick local Welsh Slate. Fortunately all the oak rafters, joists and beams had survived and were retained.

On the Ground Floor the massive slate slabs have been scrubbed and sealed with linseed oil and turpentine.  On the upper floors a few boards were carefully replaced with matching softwood. All internal wall surfaces have been pointed in lime and finished in Limewash. The lime was slaked on site from lumps of Calcium Oxide (Quicklime), and coloured with natural earth pigments.

All the windows were beyond repair. They have been replaced with new sliding box sashes.  After some consideration these were made in a painted sustainable hardwood, to better withstand the punishing high altitude coastal conditions.

The stove burns locally grown timber, and is supported by an Aga, which also provides hot water.  We are currently considering options for an independent electricity supply from various renewable sources.