Saturday, January 2, 2016

Church to Home Conversion in Northumberland, England

Ten years ago, Ian Bottomley and his partner, Sally Onions, came across St. Nicholas Church in Northumberland, England on a search for their first home together. The church, built in 1792 on the site of an earlier church dating from the 1100s, was already in the early stages of conversion. The current owner was struggling with the scope of the project, and had decided to sell. Though the church was a Grade II Listed building, which signifies a building of historical significance and may not be demolished or altered without special permits, planning permission had already been granted through the previous owner.

Construction took seven years, including two years of initial planning with various historical and ecclesiastical organizations. Most of the renovations were completed by Ian, Sally and their families, including plasterboarding, laying floorboards, and installing insulation. The total construction cost was around $420,000, plus $145,000 for the land. The now three-story house consists of four bedrooms plus office, two baths, two kitchens, two reception rooms, a library, storage room, and utility room, plus main nave area which houses the main common areas. The land is one acre, which includes a large garden, as well as an outbuilding with permission completed to convert to a two-bedroom cottage. Some of the gravestones were moved to create a private lawn area to take advantage of Northumberland's heritage coastline.

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