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Manor House Stables, A Champion’s Home Reborn

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Manor House Stables, A Champion’s Home Reborn

June 16, 2017

On April 25, 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.

Photography by Martin Gardner, courtesy of AR Design Studio.

To preserve as much of the original features as possible, the architects at AR Design Studio made few changes to the stable&#8
Above: 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.

The original stable corridor, which the architects retained, now functions as an elegant enfilade.
Above: The original stable corridor, which the architects retained, now functions as an elegant enfilade.
Merging the old with the new: to let the character of the refurbished wood shine, AR Design Studio opted for a clean, neutral palette in the rest of the space.
Above: Merging the old with the new: 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 still very much in keeping with the stable’s original character.

The original stable divisions add to the open feel of the space. Skylights further increase the light and airy feel.
Above: The original stable divisions add to the open feel of the space. Skylights further increase the light and airy feel.
So as not to compete with the refurbished wooden details, modern additions keep a low profile.
Above: So as not to compete with the refurbished wooden details, modern additions keep a low profile.
In the living room, the stable&#8
Above: In the living room, the stable’s original ceiling adds to the lofty feel.
For a little extra privacy, bedrooms were placed at the end of the single-story structure.
Above: For a little extra privacy, bedrooms were placed at the end of the single-story structure.
A clever partition between the bedroom and bath provides storage but maintains an open feel.
Above: A clever partition between the bedroom and bath provides storage but maintains an open feel.
In addition to the stable&#8
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.
With the exterior of the single-story brick structure refurbished, the original wood-framed windows were replaced with modern glazing and powder-coated steel frames.
Above: With the exterior of the single-story brick structure refurbished, the original wood-framed windows were replaced with modern glazing and powder-coated steel frames.

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on April 29, 2013, as part of our Renovation and Reclamation issue.

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