Property focus - The Georgian Cottage
The Georgian Cottage
Situated at the end of a quiet Georgian terrace in central Widcombe ‘Lynwid Cottage’ as it was formally known, was constructed as an infill extension on a tapering plot, punctuating the end of a late Georgian terrace. Nestled between the rising green expanse of Beechen Cliff to the south and the bell tower of St Marks Church to the north, ‘Lynwid’ is the last of eight artisan cottages completed in 1865 and now forms the western boundary of St Marks Road.
During its 155 year history the cottage has changed hands nine times and even featured in the 1980’s sitcom ‘The Mistress’ as the home of star Felicity Kendal. By 2012 it had fallen into severe disrepair, was suffering the symptoms of poor quality 1970’s alteration and with the death of the then owner, several years of vacancy followed as a probate sale loomed.
In late 2015 a London based couple looking for a period home in Bath to set down roots and start a family, purchased the cottage at auction having only seen it once at an ‘open house’ and fallen for its charm.
As a restoration project this was not for the faint of heart; severe subsidence had caused the entire west elevation to pull away from the terrace, leaving the first floor rooms tentatively cantilevering with no structural support, and the southern aspect of a double valley roof on the verge of collapse. The principle north elevation had a crack separating it from the adjoining cottage wide enough to see daylight and internally vegetation and damp were rife. Added to the physical issues, Bath itself presents a formidable challenge; a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a city-wide conservation area and circa 5,000 statutory listed buildings, the city is fraught with obstacles for property owners to circumnavigate.
Award winning architecture and bespoke interiors studio Lord Architecture were briefed to breathe life into the Grade II Listed cottage, rationalise its plan form, replace the 1970’s extensions to the rear and landscape the garden beyond. To tackle the structural issues and having been declined by four prior structural engineers, the couple appointed Paul Wood, founding partner of the London Based Elliot Wood Partnership who was up to the challenge.
Throughout the property a muted interior palette allows the owners artwork and books to fill the spaces with colour and are complimented by statement pieces of furniture. To the rear a minimalist white open plan kitchen-dining space is housed within a light, contemporary glass box extension.
The architect’s design approach strikes a balance between the sensitive restoration of the historic cottage and a contrasting contemporary series of interventions to the rear. Within the historic part of the cottage all rooms have been lovingly restored, period fireplaces sourced, bespoke joinery created, and skirting, cornicing and historic oak flooring introduced. Throughout the property a muted interior palette allows the owners artwork and books to fill the spaces with colour and are complimented by statement pieces of furniture. To the rear a minimalist white open plan kitchen-dining space is housed within a light, contemporary glass box extension. Exposed steel, minimal framed sliding doors and a full height slot window provide a contrasting modern, yet complimentary aesthetic and a clearly defined junction between new and old.
Exposed steel, minimal framed sliding doors and a full height slot window provide a contrasting modern, yet complimentary aesthetic and a clearly defined junction between new and old.
The south facing glass box floods the internal spaces with natural light and allows uninterrupted views of the landscaped garden, which are visible from the moment you enter the cottage. Adjacent a two storey ‘sugar-cube’ extension rises above the glass box and houses the family bathroom at first floor.
Externally the once overgrown exterior is now a small courtyard garden with mature roses, evergreen topiary and thriving ferns. Beyond the courtyard three levels of south facing terraces which culminate in a level lawn, providing impressive views of St Marks Church and far reaching views of Bath.
Almost five years since the auction purchase and the couple are now a family of four firmly rooted in Widcombe, their cottage transformed, reimagined as a functional modern home in the heart of the city.
Architect: Lord Architecture
Planning Consultant: Lord Planning
Structural Engineer: Paul Wood
Main Contractor: Bath Construction