Garth Gell

North Wales

Dating from 1805, this remote Welsh farmhouse had been abandoned in 1948, and remained empty for 40 years – aside from providing shelter for sheep in bad weather.

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

On the Ground Floor the massive slate slabs were 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 were 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.  The farmhouse remains off grid, with the water supply coming directly off the hills. Basic electricity for lamps and a small fridge freezer, is provided by a small array of solar panels.

Garth Gell is available for holiday lets: