I thought that only third world countries like us faces challenges in preserving old historic buildings. I would have never thought that even a country like the UK is racing to save some of their most precious treasures.
There’s this great TV series in UK called “Restoration Home” that shows new owners trying to restore their new homes. Well, newly acquired but some of these properties has been around for centuries!
In this series (Episode Six), a humble casual worker, Alan, from Pembroke decided to buy what is practically a ruin over the riverbanks of his hometown. He have fond memories seeing the so called “Big House” as a child and hearing stories about it. This is one of the best episode in the series. A man who practically devoted his life restoring what turns out to be one of the most historic house in the area.
Alan and his wife plans to earn from drawing money from converting the house into a bed and breakfast. It’s a long shot as they struggle to raise funds but they’re committed to see it through. They found surprising revelations after a historian and an architect delved into the DNA of the place that was believed to had been built in the early 18th century.
Interesting is that there’s seem to be no regulation at all in rebuilding ruins in UK but existing structures listed as historical have to be applied for when owners desires to make changes. Basically, everything is left out for the new owner to work on. Good thing is that most Brits are conscious of their pasts importance. It’s fascinating how people could commit their entire resources, their time , just doing things that most people would consider madness. And this is what I love about this documentary series. People doing extraordinary things to save history!
Another episode I like is this one [click here]. An abandoned church that was sold to a couple. But the church being listed a historical landmark, renovations has to be approved first by the government. Another stipulated condition is that it be made open for the public. I don’t know how that would work out for this wonderful couple who worked so hard to make a home out of this medieval-Gothic church. And I must say, they did well, considering that most of the work was done by both of them!
While there was absolutely no doubt that the works inside St. Thomas a Becket church turn out just fine (thanks to the DYI master Paul, the new owner) I couldn’t wrap my mind around having a graveyard for a yard!