Bold colours, all-encompassing patterns and a careful balance of the old blended with the new and Gulliver’s Hall is a far cry from the exposed dairy farm it was when the owner’s parents first purchased it in 1967. 

Owners Martin and Kate set out to secure their family home for future generations, all while tending their extensive farm, maintaining their status in the highest level of the Environmental Stewardship Scheme and running a forest school in the grounds. 

Turning this luxury home into the marvel it is today hasn’t been without it’s challenges. “The house hadn’t aged well since the 60s,” says Martin, “The roof leaked, half the building was sliding down the hill and the insulation was from circa 1956. Renovation nightmares began to turn to dreams when we started discussing plans with a local building surveyor who had helped enormously with the project. The idea of a private house that could accommodate a large number from the same group, along with all the facilities of a spa started to take shape.”

 

Having grown up on the 300 acre farm, Martin knows the house and gardens like the back of his hand, and opted to take on the project of the house without the help of an architect. “We felt that with our unique knowledge of the property, we shouldn’t hand the design of the building to someone else, but take responsibility for that element of the build.” The results of this decision are paramount, surpassing the wildest dreams of the owners who spent 20 months creating their character-filled farmhouse.

Inside, family furniture spanning four centuries stitches the house together with integrity and soul; stained glass windows with the family crest welcome guests through to the lounge, a 17th century four poster bed invites rest in the master bedroom and ancestral portraits line the walls. “The house is a home to things that have been made for the family since before the Pilgrims headed off to the New World,” says Martin. When asked what his favourite feature of the house and gardens is, “My father’s sculptures which adorn the roof of the house and gardens is most certainly up there.” 

The coupled teamed up with interior designer Jan Jones, who shared their vision of a house where every room is unique; with fabrics, colours and wallpapers which sing with the environment outside the windows, the result is a feeling of elegance and indulgence with a touch of nonconformity. 

Stories are the bedrock of Gulliver’s Hall, and its namesake is one which reverberates through the foundations. “It’s a story of a log felled 45 years ago on the farm that was left because of its sheer size to dry in the field. Left undisturbed for so long, it was a battle to remove it and it escaped from its shackles on the trailer and destroyed machinery with its power and bulk. Finally it gave up its battle to remain in its field and, tied down with 100 yards of blue rope, it resembled Gulliver tied down on the Lilliputian beach with little humans clustered around. It seemed apt to name the house after such a log!”