Grand Design 2018 - Herefordshire Smallholding
Minced, your design, then. Three, and four. So where do you suppose you'll have all these done ready for the. Well. Hopefully. By Christmas do you think that Ed is going to deliver yes. I'm. Very confident. But. Four years after starting, the house was still a shell with no internal, walls it. Looked as though and, Rowena might never have a finished home for their family, what's finished, yeah that's finished and this finished, isn't that I mean that's no I just think the first I. Don't need. Some. Things you know some. But. This project and the ideas behind it are powerful. And I've wanted from day one to see what original, delights will spring, from Ed's idiosyncratic. Highly creative mind. I. Think. This project is so special, that I'm back to pick up their story again and follow, it to the end, it. Has been some time since I, was last here which means I've now, sort. Of forgotten, where. It is the. Big question of course is whether, ed. And, Rowena have, oh. That's. It mister. Have. Done, anything. Here. We are. Hello. Gates hello sheep. Hi. Kevin, good. To see you thank you hello really. Very. Good to see you I see you dressed up. Yes. Oh. Yeah. Yeah good. Question. I had to ask you. The. House is still wrapped in scaffolding that the scale is already, impressive, oh. Yeah. Lovely. Space. Just. As I remember it it makes for a great workshop yeah it's a great workshop however, that's not its purpose. Keep. Forgetting. Yeah. I can. See incremental, progress, walls, are beginning to emerge and floors are appearing. Beautiful. Oak floor is down which, is it chestnut again just, how. To tell in this light but it's fantastic. I've chosen to put them just down a song boys. Laughter. Meanwhile. The children are growing up and the family are still living in their temporary, home as edge fashions, his masterpiece, I understand. Here apparently comfortable, here and life can go on here for as long as you need it to but, at the same time it would be good to be living there it would be yes. It's. Hard to explain really the. The the sort of dynamic within the family I mean it's been happening all their lives so. So, it's just um daddy's, building something on the hill and, we're going to live in it one day so. Money. Any. Left yes. I look a bit left yeah we're taking it out but are you still working full-time on the project is that, yes. So. No income. Taking, out surprisingly. Well, to. Have made the money last so long is surprising. But. That's because Eden Rowena aren't like other self, builders or, other, people, for that matter we, on most projects you know there's, insurance and. There's some kind of welfare unit, for the builders and there's a site toilet, to hire on the scaffolding, and this fencing but here. And they've got someone to live there all happy and the. Project actually benefits, from a slower approach because, it allows air to solve problems, as he goes along there. Is another way isn't in construction, and this is it. Let, me take you back to 2013, at, this point the Waghorn, family have already been building their house for a whopping six years. It's. Of a scale scope, design, and if scheduled that very few would contemplate, attempting. A friend, Cameron said he always describes, it as a oh he's. Building a cathedral. For. The reason he said that was. Because yes, because cathedrals, take more than one generation to build and I thought oh nice. One. Of the most daunting jobs, just because of its sheer scale, is the roof. Eadie's. Jettisons thatch in favor of long wooden shingles he had made them himself, shaping each one individually, and overlaying, them like tiles, lovely. But of course he labor-intensive. To. Shape the planks that will fit around the dormer windows it starts. By steaming, them eight at a time then. They get very hot and then, the, cells soften, and that's when I can twist it I did. Watch a youtube video yeah, and you get sort of you, know Americans, in the middle of nowhere you know just saying.
Will You do this you know then it's great. And. Wolfin. It's a light so. Now we just leave it for two and half hours and. Then we take it out and put in the jig. The. Jig holds, eight wooden, tiles and they stay clamped, for about three days and we'll need, 2000. Of them oh. This. Is beautiful. They. Look from down there like super shingles and that's what they are are they they're an inch and a half thick mine I like the fact that they're staggered and these are made from what is this cedar. Yeah western red cedar western red cedar surprisingly. Soft but, extraordinarily durable. You're fixing them to conventional. Battens on cross battens it's quite tricky around the door was that the cedar boards, are in twist they have to be in twist to get around the dormers oh this, is beautiful look at a piece of finished building, we. Are almost and if it wasn't no scaffolding, there I would imagine that yeah, this was done. It's, quite, something you're, halfway there on you. It's. Just a matter of motoring on and getting it done man, but. Just the Mets are approaching on it getting it done majoring, at edge speed of course it's, taken him three months to cover a third of the roof. Down. These. Are really the real, ones. What. Are you insulated, with it's cork, oh it's, granulated. Cool it, looks like rat dropping but, it's a it's, nice there's good stuff in there yeah doesn't, compact. In the same way that some children when, it does it springs back cook, yes there's, any spillage, or anything in the kitchen. Nice. So, in terms of incidents, its again it's the billing to keep you warm you've got this stuff the core kind of floor you've got this stuff which is that that's newspaper isn't it yes. Something's. Be nice in there yeah and. You put that through machine and blow him that's, a machine. For. All the wainy edge stuff which I love and I know it's brilliant doing and it's exciting to see I I'm, as excited by that back information. Because. That says to me property. Made airtight, building yeah there's gonna be insulated. Everything. In this house has edged fingerprints, on it from idea to execution. In every detail from the building's technology, to its construction, this is one man's handmade, house exemplified. By the enormous, cathedral. Window it. Took three, years for aired and his part-time carpenter, Silva to choose the right shaped crock timbers and put them into place okay. One two. Three. Four. Edie so. Much of this project has been about the pleasure of making a beautiful object, however, long it takes, one. Two. Three. This. Has taken rather long time making this window so. I do believe in getting. Attached to the materials are working with but perhaps not quite as attached as we've had to with. This particular. Window but. It is a very important window. What. Impresses me most about this ed is, the. Symmetry, of the window left to right and I'm guessing you've done that by spitting. Yeah. That's. One tree that grew that way and yeah. And you just sorted down there but what's interesting is it yeah it grew that way but it sort of all fits you're an almost a perfect parabolic, shape. It's. Now almost seven years since, I first met Edie and Rowena. Inside. The house edge divided. The vast interior into, recognizable, rooms, and. Upstairs the partition, walls are plastered, to make three spacious, very long, four bedrooms, for the girls. True. To form Edie, can't resist spending weeks, on the smallest of details, this. Is a stand for a basin so the basin is upside down and I'm building the stand up. The wrong way up and, the stand, is made of. Loads. Of little bits of off cut off the floorboards I'm, building it like this is building with little chunks and, that'll tape her up and then I'll sand the whole thing off probably. Could have brought in some sort of base for that basin as well but for, me that would have been a bit boring. Everything. Is handmade. Edie made a nothing. Goes to waste a, commendable, principle that extends, to every corner of Edinburgh, ITA's lives here, Edie's. For him but at the build in the house and. Buying. Is very much more the, land and the animals there's. A daily, routine there's. A weekly routine there's, a seasonal, routine and we live by it choosing. To live like this slows, down the pace of everything, including the, project as edge continues, to craft every element from scratch it's the collar that goes around the top of the poster just before the sort of um petals, as I call but it just needed something to just stop before branching out a so. That's that's all it is really. It's. Like a little necklace really that.
Just Makes. The head better. Seven. Years since, building, began the, day I had, doubted would ever arrive finally, does. The. Children, and our teenagers, and the family are leaving their old place and moving up the hill to the new house and doing it their way very. Very. Slowly. Said, I want a big kitchen a larder, and a veranda, was. It that was my requirement, and. I've got my big kitchen, and, I will have a larder and I, will have a parameter, when. That. End is done. There's. Still a mountain. Of work for ED to do but mains electricity solar. Panels, and water are now in place. The. House is warm and the children are getting used to the space I've. Never had my own room so I'm not I'm to share with other people because. That's been cutting away. Adult, benign oh we all the door so be nice I'm missing a wall on one side. Now. The girls have rooms they want to paint them. They're. Used to making and doing things themselves so they're mixing the paint from raw pigment. That's. Nice. I'll. Show you how to cut it into the woods. So. Just drag it right with the bristles pointing in towards that. Way. To paint behind I'll start off doing a knot in the middle so it'll be too much to be on the edge yeah that's right yes so be close to that that's. Exactly I see how good you have got a good line you can get. There's, one very large, wall that needs more, than a coat of paint. Yeah. That looks lovely. If. You come in through the door into the hall it you're presented with this wall. So. It's a really important, wall in an, important, space that you know this faces will be probably. The most beautiful, space in the building it's. A lime render going on so it, breathes nicely, and it looks lovely I mean it looks soft it almost looks like a sort of porcelain. As it goes on but it'll dry much nicer. Over. The next year work progresses, at the usual slow and steady pace, but. The meager budget is running out and the bigger, jobs like the floor and ceiling can't, be completed by Ed alone, so. Now we're at a point where we're, not finished on the main house but this part that we were living in we. Need to make use of that we need to probably have. People come and stay and have people pay us to kind of stay because we need to just, raise. A bit of money to make, the main house moved, on and completed. Ed. Can now only spend two days a week on the new house, for. The other five he's here renovating, the old one with, the same meticulous. Attention to detail. Concealed. Within this wall there's. The chimney. Flue and, this is the vent from the water from the bathroom so I am, just making a little. Little. Guard to go on the end of the vent so. It'll feel nice to it fall in. This. Is classic, Eadie spending, precious time on the tiniest, detail, and now. With two projects, to see through I'm starting to think that it's purely the pleasure, he takes in building not the finishing, that's, driving, edy. Edie. And Rowena have, now been living in their new place for two years, I enjoy. Myself so, much on this project therefore once I find itself not saying to to the self build a hurry out get on with it because life's. About living, in a completed house and enjoying what you've built here instead it's. About something else it's, about finding the pleasure in the making rather, than in the having hello. Very. Good to see you I mean it's been three years this part ok so the. House is still unfinished so but, you're you're here and happy yeah, he's. In the space I know you've got great plans for this space haven't you yeah, yeah, we're gonna that's.
The Ceiling is gonna, be going in and that's gonna be a domed sort, of vaulted ceiling which is gonna be very beautiful how do you work out the designer, is it is all done with paper and and, calculation. Or is it I. Can't. Imagine this you're on your way no. I'm just gonna, what. Well. I've already experimented. With the idea with, the chicken run so. It is basically a geodesic, dome in principle, but unlike the chicken run which is just in, a very form. Follows function and each joint that will have to be like, a boss just to conceal or detail. That joints yeah just. I found a piece of medieval fan, trace for you you know. But. In a, sort of woody more, rustic way not, quite as a yeah. You're not expecting, to do heads of the st.. The. Ceiling may still be a work in progress but the staircase is a testament, to what it is capable of and why, it's worth waiting for his magic touch, Wow. This, is um this, is spectacular, it's unfinished but it's Specter does. It move either be plaster, on this yeah. This. Is all, beautifully. Knife, this is scraped. Drawn. Timber. Really, exciting, that, kind of spans. Contemporary. Design, craftsmanship. Medieval, design everything it just crosses all those boundaries could I go yeah let's go yeah these. Are very generous, and beautiful, and this is this oil it must be is it yeah it feels very silky, underfoot, yeah. So. Where are we now this must be the girls bedrooms right, and. Great. Of. Course it doesn't matter hugely, to end Rowena, all the kids that doors are missing and the plaster isn't finished this, place is such a major improvement, on where they were living with the added luxury of space the. Electrics are completely, in and all the switching isn't completely where we want it and, the. Floors aren't all in and we can have lots of fun doing decorative, things with the floors forgive me for asking I hope you can remember if there was a budget for this project about the numbers are kind of we played around with in the early days didn't we. So. Much of what's here isn't bought it, is it is just made out of blocks yeah, what. You found or scavenged or bought as in, such a kind of real estate that it was it was pence as it were and. Is that still the case they used to label to to get. Your chestnut. She. Yes actually, this chestnut was his firewood great but I just sort of selected out the bed still where they're using, so. That's how it is and then and the the, doors for the girls bedrooms which I am now that. Are starting to happen that's off cuts from the roof so I just hang on to all the bits and pieces and they just come in for something and the very smallest last cut offs go in the wood burner but it hasn't been very small. Doors. Have been low down on Ed's list of priorities, but he's finally made, one and it's for Marnie's room. And. Now obviously about your door is gonna be nice, so. The first thing is we bang bang. These two bits in, the. World hinges these, I see this these. These you made and. This is a split pin red like a clothes peg well, once it's once it's in we bang. Away generations, of table tennis it's a holding I'm back then. By oh man it's good. Night. Thank you. So. Now we slide the other that the other parts the hinge into the door. Wow. It's, really elegant that, dovetail, so now we lift this up. And. So that now in theory should just open and swing. There. We are, door. Bangs, door lovely. Across. Ten years of building and making editors, tenaciously. Held on to his vision for the most dramatic space, in the house the double-height, living room, to be crowned with, a vaulted ceiling first. Child in his chicken, run I'm. Not quite sure where, the, idea, for this came from I just can't resist experimenting. With pretty well everything that's sort of my nature and I think it's going to work brilliantly here and the panels are obviously plastered, in. But. I think it's going to be really, really exciting. Ed's. Crafting. A hand-worked lattice, across, the ceiling from. Very low-grade chestnut. It's. Fantastically, cheap I mean it's firewood effectively, and then split down the grain and, it splits in whatever way it, sees, fit so, that all that grain is in intact so, it's, very strong and obviously very very lovely and very shapely, quite. Difficult to fit but it is a lovely looking thing when it's when it's done you know I. Reckon. On on a good day I can maybe fit, eight, of these there's. 40 pieces in each quarter so. That's five days now. That's on a good day so. I, reckon. On maybe, taking. About. A week I suppose to get all the pieces into one quarter so once, I have this. Lattice, completely in place I'll, then roll, out a reed mat on top of the lattice and then, plaster.
The Little sections between the chestnut Java, see that'll be beautifully, painted and it's going to actually just completely. Make the space and. To complement, the ceiling of almost gothic, complexity, it plans a robust, medieval, floor here we're, planning on doing a rammed earth floor, so. That's just earth from outside. With. Some pretty material. Laid. In and rammed and oil so it's, a lovely lovely finish there's, one area of floor that will receive a more lavish, treatment, the triangular, section at the centre of the house thank. You well, okay. That's. For the center actually. These. Stones are just it's just bits of slab that have come out of the hill and they all have to be. To, fit into my puzzle. And, my brother will today is out there cutting the stones for me to place. There's. A local sandstone but quite a good solid one which is quite good for a floor it. Made sense the dirt life-sized full-scale rather than just the little bits of paper or with drawings I could have just got some loads of paper and it wouldn't have ever quite seen how it was really gonna look. With. This level, of craftsmanship it's no surprise it's taken ten years to, get to this point as. The. House has grown up so too has the family and they've all caught, Ed's bug for making things, that's. Asked me to make these light, surrounds, aesthetically. More pleasing I've. Made. Them out of stoneware okay and then set. Me free with the designs. I choose. To put on them, as. He renovates, their old place, Edie is even reinventing. The humble, light switch where, we used to live that's, turning into a great place to to. Trial some of these ideas that perhaps, are more experimental. One. Of the things that are I'm working on at the moment is switching. All the Lighting's on upon poly systems this. Is the rope that operates, the switch. So. Basically I I. Tie. That off in the right place. It's. The switch merely to us. It's. Just the joy of having the rope running around and everything. So. That this this action is transferred, through the rope through to the switch over there and then the cable to the light comes off that and goes to the light so, it's all very visual, yeah it's all very visual but and although experiential. I'm. Not sure I dare say it but, it almost feels like the end is in sight. Edd's. Now, finishing, the ceiling of the new house I had. Given the scale and difficulty, of plastering it he's brought in a master, of the art Jonathan, Gilbert, it's, been a challenge, because it was all different shapes within one panel, which, means you can't I mean Jonathan would just love to get his trowel and just smooth the whole thing off with a trowel, like a plaster would normally do we can't do that we have to actually work into, all the shapes that the, curve is presenting. Which, is challenging. But. A decade, of building I've watched, this family, grow up and flourish, alongside this project I now, have one more visit to make to mark what I hope is the culmination, of Ed and Rowena's long epic, journey through a world of craftsmanship to their final destination, a beautiful. Permanent. Home. It's. Over ten years since I first met ed and Rowena on their Herefordshire, hillside now. Marked. By a very substantial. House. It. Is. So. Gratifying to see what looks like a finished house and yeah it's, sort of like something, from a fairy tale this building. Mrs.. Tiggy-winkle mansion. The. Woodcutter stately, home. Now. That is a surprise. So. Deadly free remember but the dugout where they lived had, no roof on it to speak of it now of it it's manicured, it's beautiful.
Sort. Of process great things up the hill isn't it. It. Now commands, the hillside and at the same time looks as if it's been here forever, and so. Far it's all looking beautifully. Spruce. That, looks like a door, within. A door in, the finest tradition of medieval castles, inside, a frame which is inside a window which is inside the opening it's. Magnificent, isn't it, how'd. You get in. Hello. Thank. You it's great to be house your house itself. No. I can sort of begin to see can, I yeah thank you. Straight. Of the entrance, is the Great Hall. The. Experience, of the ground floor is now as seamless, juxtaposition. Of hall and kitchen Oh. Extraordinary. Its. Glorious, ed, the. Most striking thing is the great halls vaulted, ceiling, at, six meters a real. Crowning. Glory without, doubt technically. Accomplished, and visually, remarkable, and unequaled. On the planet every. Joint is covered. By. A little boss but the boss is like a timber, wrapper, and timber. Rope yeah. I'm overwhelmed by this I've never been in a big way, I, don't. Think another building like this exists, I don't think so Kevin no. Is. It like roof structure should be is it stronger. It's really robust actually, it's really robust so that was yes, encouraging. The, window you, know the window I always admired seems, completely, right, and appropriate I mean before that you know the inside was quite chaotic and darker. So. You were kind of drawn, to this as sort. Of as relief but, now it's a proper fourth wall the, main window is another wonderful, piece of handcrafted, joinery built on the same scale as the tree it came from the. Big window is part of that big, statement. The big room it's something gorgeous about, his proportions and it's its. Grand, scale. Yeah I'm clutching onto medieval fan bolting but frankly it's. I suppose with those grander buildings they always had the best materials, and the most perfect Timbers, and stones and, we've. Created those. Forms, with the poorest, materials, about equal levels of craftsmanship I suppose, it's, a different craft I mean what they were doing was very very beautiful and then they were very very skilled but this is a different craft. Despite. The baronial scale, this building still feels domestic. Thanks, I think - it's Wibbly handmade, nature, although it still needs to be honored with some crafted, Wibbly ed made furniture it's. Hard to know how to furnish a Spence so, we maybe thought yeah I can see that. It's. Sort of suggested, that the next and final remaining. Thing for you to do is to make. Didn't. Pull this on. So. This floor which wasn't here this is this is. Yes. Yes the. Pressed earth floor comprises, sand straw, and clay dug up from the nearby fields with, a hardening, topcoat of linseed oil and beeswax. Underfloor. Heated yeah yeah and these. Your stones I view. It is the sort of the center of the building it has a different such, a very rigid. And demanding. Quality compared. To thee yeah wondering nature of split, chest now yeah if you look at the colors of the stones. And. Then you look outside it's, all in keeping. Okay. Here in this result and, the kitchen too is. Lovely. Homely wood burner and a, post, although the post itself is very, very, unusual. Ed yes it started out is one thing I tell, you that is one one, tree. Left. Exactly. The. Trunk was split into four and then clamped, back together an engineering, experiment, open, and seemingly, light but strong enough to support the floor above well. I really like about it. Yeah. Well it's a prototype Kevin, I'd like to have one that you could win from just one in but yeah you have to change the change, the handle so you keep whining and you'll see history, if. I won't make ten years perhaps I'll. See you slab. It's. Wonderful. Other, people would buy a small book in which the right thing. Heads. Wild designs are practical, too he made the work chops from Sycamore a word with supposedly, antibacterial. Qualities the, support to the familiar split chestnut. Having. A circular counter, if you if you if you come, this way if you walk around you just sort of follow it around, to. Do the. Sink. Itself is also curved that, follows the same fare that's not the common thing is it great.
Big Belfast sink with a curved edge to it yeah, I think unusual at the stove though more, familiar rectangular, shape that's kind of that, looks very new a family. We've known for many many years make, those stoves seriously, I like the one thing you buy that's new in the house one bit of bling still actually has a very strong personal connection. It's. Great it's. Great not. Everything, though has the same degree of finish. What's, behind the door LS this the sitting room as, the sitting room in there Kevin but at the moment it. Is yes. That's. Espares stores. Little. Bits that didn't buy every, bit of the house it's. Sort of here almost, you, never know when it might come in useful then, that's. Your motto. When. I was last here this was this was as it is beautiful but this is actually this, is very different up here flooring. Is down and the, balcony. Is. In and. This. Is quite a, this. Is quite a special moment in it in the building this. So. We now see almost entirely, land. Actually. Probably 3/4, sky a little sliver of Les Miserables, and I notice that that's a very interesting change. Tell. Me up, here haven't you've got one two three bedrooms, there three, in the bathroom to, that side that's four five my, question here is you've, been billing for ten years you, started building when there were kids and. There now the only two that's seventeen so. So it's not long before you, find yourself with quite a lot of empty bedrooms quite a lot of the time has, this happened too late yeah. It's, hard to sort of. Talk. About that concept, of oh boy you've built your house and they've all left it. Doesn't really matter does it the experience, of them, growing up and it all happening around them I think is incredibly, valuable, can, you see a time when one of them moved in here and you're you're done absolutely I mean there's, no reason why we should be hanging around. Yeah. And I think the future just sort of takes care of itself things that'll happen and you know it doesn't we don't have fret about that really doing. So. All this time it has it seems been building an adaptable, home to suit the family, both now and down, through the generations that. Long view the, taking time to think has defined, this project this house is more than a home they. Want it to be their legacy at, this point I know, me ask people how much they've spent and how long it took but I have the feeling you have the right to tick the not applicable, box in this case although. You did start by saying we, think we had for about a hundred thousand pounds to spend on this do, you have a notion of how much you have spent Tobias, we never actually just gone through counting, it up I mean we we tend to, spend. When we can afford it so this is living, within your means so. That doesn't mean it takes longer but, it. Means that it feels comfortable what, we're doing it's not scary, so. You spent the obviously the original hundred thousand I mean it's gone, yes, yes, and you. Spent money from income but we'll have you burnt the income looking after pigs. Well. I do get little jobs here and there I mean I design, things for people along the way so that's helpful so what happens down to the dugout does it get rented out or what yeah, we would really like people to be able to come and experience how, it is to be here I think it would be really fun to share that with people meantime the small housing continues to feed you yes and, we don't we're, not big. Spenders, no, I guess, that. And in. Fact the house is furnished, and decorated with, the work of both family, and friends, in, keeping with their passion, for keeping things personal. Handcrafted. And slow. Really, know what sacrifices. If any have you made in the first ten years, would. You miss only. Don't miss anything that's. A good answer there if you what is that in this, holidays. We've, got animals you, know we're tied because of a lifestyle. That we've chosen. So.
It's Not a tie though isn't it no so we're not tied it's a choice we don't really have that you know. I. Feel. Pretty happy with things, happy. With things house, the building Shaitan changed you has it changed your family has it changed the dynamic, between you and the kids ingenuity, it's bound to have changed to send him but you want to know how and I don't know how you tell me. Like, everything of the same moment it's happened slowly. I. Suppose. Timing. Wise moving. Into here from. The dugout, it. Was timely because they were getting to an age where they needed their own space from, each other and from us and vice versa and so, that was great and moving up here and there being space, was, very exciting, everybody, I was, gonna I was gonna ask you now why happens when the project finished but first of all I don't think it's going to be ever completely, finished and secondly, what's the confines of the project as well yeah. And. You know it's it's the ground Universal, project of life isn't it maybe it is yeah. I had. Wondered over, the past decade. Whether, this project would ever finish but. Now I realize, that. Ed. And marina have. Never really wanted it to never Lee intended, it to end, after. All why, when. Life. Itself is. Defined. By bound. Up with the ideas, of, craftsmanship. And utility, by, the acts of, making. And doing why, would you want, it to ever end huh. You. Know it's lessons like that that. Over the past 10, years. Have. Made it such a privilege, to follow this project.