On April 25th, 1946, a postwar crowd gathered on a lovely spring day to cheer on “Lovely Cottage” as he galloped across the finish line at UK’s Grand National. It was a day of triumph for Manor House stables and the small village of Headbourne Worthy in Hampshire, which was the new champion’s home. It also marked the end of an era.
Lovely Cottage’s winning race was the last of this tradition that had started in 1876, and shortly after, the unused stables fell into a state of disrepair. Until one day when Andy Ramus of AR Design Studio, which was completing renovations to the Manor House, recognized the potential of this historic stable. Shortly after, Lovely Cottage’s stable received a new lease on life as a modern three-bedroom house featuring much of the structure’s original barnlike character.
Photos by Martin Gardner.
Above: The original stable corridor, which the architects retained, now functions as an elegant enfilade.
Above: In order to preserve as much of the original features as possible, the architects at AR Design Studio made few changes to the stable’s plans, instead creating rooms within the existent stables. The structure’s exposed timber walls were cleaned and refurbished to reveal the original detailing and craftsmanship.
Above: Merging the old with the new, in order to let the character of the refurbished wood shine; AR Design Studio opted for a clean, neutral palette in the rest of the space. Modern amenities like the heated polished concrete floor are also still very much in keeping with the stable’s original character.
Above: For a little extra privacy, bedrooms were placed at the end of the single-story structure.
Above: A clever partition between the bedroom and bath provides storage but still maintains an open feel.
Above: In addition to the stable’s walls and doors, other details were repurposed. For instance, feeding troughs were used for sinks and tethering rings function as towel hoops.
Above: With the exterior of the single-story brick structure refurbished, the original timber windows were replaced with modern glazing and powder-coated steel frames. For more images of the Manor House Stable, visit Dezeen and Remodelista.
If you like the idea of living where our four-legged friends used to tread, see more inspired stable conversions.