Finding a stand-out barn conversion in the heart of the Norfolk countryside is no mean feat. The narrow lanes that meander through the county’s picturesque villages are peppered with outhouse restorations. But few are as innovative as Patrick Lynch’s Thursford Barn, a modern twist on traditional style.
The interior overhaul of the converted barn – for sale via The Modern House for £280,000 – is as dramatic as it is unexpected thanks to a historic, red herring of an exterior. With the original rubble walls still standing, the only indication that this 18th-century house for sale has seen much more than a lick of paint since the 1750s is a row of vertical windows along the west-facing street façade.
But they don’t even start to give away the extent of the refurbishment of Thursford Barn (which you can try before you buy, starting from £695 a week). Lynch Architects’ construction of a new, independent timber frame within the old walls has allowed for the internal exposure of the original rubble, painted white to match the main element of the new construction: a floor-to-ceiling theatre wall.
Simple, clean and contemporary, the softwood boards separate the main body of the converted barn – comprising a living space and country kitchen – from a bathroom and two bedrooms, one of which is at the top of a secret staircase.
While the doorway in the centre of the new wall looks like it should open into a space no bigger than a cupboard, it actually reveals a set of spiral stairs leading up to a birch plywood-lined mezzanine level equipped with a king size bed. Unpainted, untreated and the epitome of stripped back, the room is ‘a hidden, secret, niche-like, timber retreat,’ as the architects put it.
Finding a stand-out barn conversion in the heart of the Norfolk countryside might be hard – but it’s not impossible.