I started watching “The Restoration Man” last year after some kind hearted soul started uploading a few episodes on youtube. Like “Restoration Homes” it’s in the UK where castles, churches and houses that dates back hundreds of years are being bought by new owners dreaming of creating a home for themselves. It’s a daunting task because not only are these structures expensive, they’re also tightly regulated by heritage agencies. This means every single alteration must conform within their standards. And these guys don’t play around!
One of the episode I enjoyed most is the “Bath Lodge”, where a contractor took upon a the project of restoring a dilapidated structure built on a middle of a cornfield. The structure is said to had been a folly, a building built for decorative purposes. I’ve never heard of this but apparently the aristocrats of old England made use of such buildings to improve the scenery of their vast lands. Another theory was that it was indeed a bath house, as its name suggest, but this is disputed by local historians. No record exist of it being utilized as a bath facility other than stories and legends. So the questions hangs, what’s this 300 year old building intended for?
But the inspiring story here is what the man who bought it did and how he almost paid the ultimate price. The new owner of the “Bath House” suffered a major heart attack after an exhausting period during the restoration. Luckily, he survived and continued his work. His wife also became ill. To add to the misfortunes, the bank withdrew financial funding. Amazingly, all of these did not stop the works in the bath house. The story of the husband telling his family hours after suffering a heart attack to continue the restoration if he won’t make it was touching. Every romantic bone in my body that feels for these wonderful heritage structures was moved!
Now here’s another. A Welsch church that has been around since the medieval times! While that story in itself is fascinating, imagine a couple buying it and converting it into a home!
In this episode we meet a couple who practically had no budget for restoration pull out the impossible! The woman got two jobs to fund the project while the man did just about everything! And they did a great job. I’ve never seen anything like it. And yes, this too have a graveyard with hundreds of bodies in it for a yard!