Rook End, Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex

This Grade II listed cottage was declared uninhabitable after its elderly owner died. It had a sitting room, kitchen and two bedrooms – no bathroom. Now it has a large kitchen, three bedrooms, two large reception rooms, a bathroom and a shower room. It is now a much-loved family home.

Retaining the integrity of the well-preserved roof, which was built about 1670, was necessary because that was what we, the client and the conservation officer felt was the right thing to do. As the line of the thatched roof was too low for the usual link to an extension, the ground level to one side of the cottage was lowered to allow a large extension to be tucked under the thatched roof.

Extensive refurbishment was required to make the building habitable and comfortable, including underpinning, reshaping the staircase, re-instating the inglenook fireplace, installation of underfloor heating, addition of oak floors and doors, as well as addition of bathrooms and kitchen. A selection of before and after photographs of the master bedroom are included in the images below.