Another Heritage Restoration TV Series

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!


2 responses to “Another Heritage Restoration TV Series

  • jose

    The English are very fond of their past and are an example to everyone. Not only they keep houses very well, they also keep gardens, vintage cars , china ware…
    They have the equivalent of kipa houses (thatched cottages, very expensive to keep as the roof must be completely renovated every 10 years by an skilled craftman. Still, everyone wants to own one as soon as they have money) (cottages are the peasants´s homes of yore and the millionaires´s of today ).
    All this means that there is a huge interior tourism all over England.
    This is three times too big to be a (private ) bath house and too small and isolated to be a (public ) bath house. In orther that this worked as a bath, it should have a source with a medicinal waters, rests of pipeworks…Also having been a public bath house, it should be somewhere any records of it (advertisments, local history..) There is none and the English are very keen on local history.
    Even the follies tended to be useful in any way (a vista or a focal point for instance).
    Most probably it was a hunting lodge of state called Bath (there is a farm in the map called Bath farm ) and there is woodland also. In the film they speak about kennels… Probably after the construction the state was parceled and sold out.
    Still, every one can take ideas of these dreamers.
    I have to say that the Prince of Wales is a keen defender of the architectural heritage of England. Most of our politicians only see in our past a way to get rich withou working.


  • jankurdt

    i love watching “restoration homes.” i find the history and the enormous amount of work fascinating and seeing the end result inspiring. it really is not easy taking on a project like that. many of the new owners always get into a financial crisis of some sort because of a lot of unexpected delays and/or expenses, especially with the really old houses whose foundations have already been eaten by termites and time.

    this church restoration is quite interesting. i’ll watch this later. thanks for sharing.

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