The roots of this cathedral-like barn conversion in the UK’s Suffolk date all the way back to the medieval period.
Eye House was originally a cluster of dilapidated farm buildings, themselves fashioned from the ruins of St Peter’s Priory after its dissolution in 1537 by Henry VIII. Fashion director Olivia Pomp and her art director husband Gary Rowland fell in love with the ramshackle structures in 2006, and spent five years converting them into a six-bedroom country home.
Rowley’s architect daughter Laura Rowland designed the barn conversion, which is available to rent via The Modern House from £2,200 per week. Eye House is super-insulated and powered by solar panels, and during the renovation work, they used as many recycled materials as possible.
Drama comes from the vaulted skylit hallway, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows in the kitchen and living room that look onto the property‘s gardens. Some stone walls and historic beams have been left exposed, as have vast new timber trusses and poured concrete floors.
Trimmings are the handiwork of Pomp. ‘My thing is more the interiors and finding the right pieces of furniture,’ she says. ‘I bought quite a lot of mid-century pieces at auction. Other things, such as the glassware collection, are pieces that we have accumulated over many years.’
Two bedrooms can be found on the upper level, with a ground floor twin-bedroom that tumbles out onto the UK holiday home’s landscaped surrounds, which include an east-facing courtyard and vegetable gardens.
Extra guest accommodation is offered in the form of two caravans, which are also in the grounds, and a large stone barn. Currently undergoing renovation, it is is available to book separately for functions and events, with price on application.
Eye House is a close to the market village of Eye, and 30 minutes drive from Norwich and Ipswich, and the coast.