A historic country farmhouse is up there on the dream home list for many people. Take inspiration from these nine idyllic farmhouses, nestled in the countryside and brimming with characterful details.
Follow the links to see more of these beautiful homes and find ideas to help create a wonderful rural feel in your own home.
1. A Grade II-listed farmhouse in Devon
When the Gavin family drove down the leafy track on the Devon coast and this farmhouse came into view, they instantly knew it was for them. At the time, the children were young, but the family was outgrowing the three-bedroom house in London that they left behind.
The six-bedroom house in the South Hams is set in two acres of land. It is Grade II-listed, with older sections dating back to 1602. Other parts were added in the 18th and 19th centuries. The property was in good condition, but the Gavins still wanted to make their mark on it straightaway.
2. A 300-year-old farmhouse
For Tina and Martin Philpot, restoring this 300-year-old Somerset farmhouse was a labour of love. The house had formally been two separate farm cottages, built in the 1550s, that were knocked together in the 1970s. Now it is an idyllic home with beautiful views, surrounded by a gorgeous garden and set in the beautiful British countryside.
3. A farmhouse saved from dereliction
When Wendy and Peter Blakeman bought this Derbyshire farmhouse back in 2005, it wasn’t a straight transaction. Since the property had been bought by Queen Victoria in 1890, the sale would need to be signed off by the Duchy of Lancaster and the queen herself. On top of that all of the renovation plans had to be run by the Duchy too.
Fortunately, through a passion for the house and a lot of DIY, the Blakemans managed to save the property and turn it into a beautiful farmhouse with a fantastic backstory.
4. A forgotten 17th-century farmhouse
Having sat empty and derelict, with no running water, no kitchen and holes in the ceiling where you could see through to the roof, this listed farmhouse was in desperate need of a loving hand to restore it. The home has a connection to the beautiful country surrounding it. The initials FW are carved into one of the kitchen beams, standing for Fred Williams, the man who built the house who is buried in a local church yard.
5. A 16th-century longhouse built in cob
For centuries, cob has been used to build homes throughout the UK, especially in the south-west of England and Wales. One such house is Buckingham Farm — a thatched, 16th-century Devonshire longhouse bought by Suzi and Chris Carman some 20 years ago.
After almost a decade of working on the house at weekends and during holidays, in 2002 Suzi took voluntary redundancy and began to work on the house full time. Being at the house every day made the final push to finish the renovation much easier, and now the pair are happily ensconced in Devon life.
6. A listed Georgian family farmhouse
This Grade II-listed, late-Georgian farmhouse was built in 1820, with a small 1950s addition to the rear. It is set in 300 acres of glorious Wiltshire countryside and is now used by the couple for raising cattle. ‘We were very lucky to inherit the house, which had been in Harry’s family for years,’ says Alice.
The main goal for Alice and Harry was to ensure their four-square, traditionally laid-out home could function for their 21st-century family. Yet they also wanted to retain the period property’s original Georgian features and character. Finding that balance proved tricky, particularly given the limitations of listed building consent, which was required even for internal alterations.
7. A Grade II-listed farmhouse from the 17th century
Back in 2011, from the outside the house was beautiful, a great size and surrounded by farmland. ‘Inside, the house in its raw state was hideous. As we wandered into the back garden, however, and paused to take in the spectacular Brede Valley views, I knew that with a lot of effort and imagination, it could, one day, be wonderful.’ says owner, Sally Appleyard.
‘Gaining permission to make alterations to our listed house was far more complicated than we’d imagined,’ says Sally. ‘Essentially, all Rob and I wanted to do was enhance the home we’d fallen in love with. Adhering to the conditions, such as using specific materials, took time and cost much more than we’d thought.’
8. An award winning French farmhouse restoration
Following a stint in property development, buying, doing up and selling French houses, Heather and her family eventually turned their focus to a home of their own. The property they found was a ramshackle longère (farmhouse) in need of complete restoration. What set it apart was the fact that it housed an original community bread oven, probably built in the 1700s.
These compact structures of rough stone, with a large oven built into one narrow end, were inevitably placed in the centre of the village, where, after each baking, or fournée, the gentle heat that remained would serve to dry the season’s crop of apples, pears or walnuts.
‘Ours was a particularly magnificent example in a double height building that was eventually to become our kitchen,’ says Heather. ‘Sadly we had to remove the original oven, but we still have the opening and the chimney. We regularly light a fire in that and cook on it all through the winter.’
9. A sympathetic Georgian restoration
After renting in Norfolk for five years while waiting for the right renovation project to come along, Pamela and Jason Crawley finally found this Georgian farmhouse a few miles from Norwich in 2009. Enlisting the help of their son James, who is equally passionate about historic architecture, the family has completely restored what was a dilapidated house into one with period style and splendour.
‘We waited a long time for the ideal house in a peaceful location,’ says Pamela, ‘and when this one came up for auction two years ago, it suited us perfectly. It required a huge amount of restoration, had potential for an extension, and is set in beautiful rolling countryside on the outskirts of a pretty village. The timing was just right, too: our youngest son James had just completed a degree in architectural studies, so he was able to work with us full time for the year we planned to complete the renovation.’