When Lesley and Max bought their Staffordshire farmhouse in August 2011, it was the adjacent barn they were really interested in.

Having completed several renovations before, they were looking for a new project that would allow them to work on something ‘from scratch’ and to create a beautiful home for them and their eight-year-old son.

They made an offer to buy the barn, but were disappointed to be told that it wasn’t available separately – they’d have to purchase the farmhouse too. That had not been part of their grand plan, but Lesley admits they’d fallen in love with the barn and its potential…

Shortly afterwards, they became the proud owners of the entire estate. They started by renovating the farmhouse and lived in that for a year, before switching their attention to the barn.

The rural property is surrounded by fields and is the former hunting lodge of the Earl of Shrewsbury. “There’s been settlement here for a very long time,” says Lesley. “The farm has looked pretty much as it does today for about 200 years but it used to have hundreds of acres of land, which the Earl hunted on. Today, we’ve got just 5.5 acres.”

"Neither of us
could get these
doors out of
our heads!"