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*** PLEASE SEE DETAILED FLOOR-PLANS FOR PROPOSED CONVERSION & FOR HOW IT IS NOW ***
Rhes y Cae is one of those villages that are actually very deceptive. Looking out across the rolling hills on the edge of the moor, lined with dry stone walls and dotted with the sheep that roam free, it appears out in the back of beyond but is in fact about 10 minutes from Mold and perhaps even less from Flint and Holywell. All the appeal of the real countryside with little of the inconvenience; which when seeking your ideal home is a pretty good start.
The Old Bakery gives you a blank canvas to realise your dreams and more importantly, to do so in an affordable manner. Planning permission has already been granted for conversion into a four bedroom dwelling but the scale and layout of the property leaves a vast array of choice as to how you achieve that. And isn’t that the point of a project like this, to make something completely unique, something that has a piece of you within it......because anyone can buy a home from Redrow (other builders are available)…..but you can only buy one Old Bakery!
We gain access to the building via a side path running up from the road before turning into what would eventually become the garden area. Equally given over to lawn and solid paving before a wooden fence that separates this from the parking area, this offers many possibilities for development because as I said, this is a place for your imagination to become reality.
On the rear elevation is an external staircase leading up to a door into the upper floor. This staircase is the subject of a conservation order, having been deemed historically significant and is currently, the only way onto this floor. However such is the scale of the internal dimensions, an added inner staircase would present no problems and prevent chilly toes when going to bed during the winter months.
Beside the staircase is the main door, from where we go down three steps into the body of the home. This is owing to the slope of the land, the front of the building being at ground level. We find ourselves in a huge room running the full width of the home and currently a void. In the proposed plans, to our left would be the large kitchen/dining room with a full turn staircase in the right hand corner leading to the upper floor - a spiral staircase would make a lovely feature too.
Beside the stairs a doorway opens into what was once the bakery itself, evidenced but the truly vast wood fired oven occupying fully one quarter of the room. If left in situ this would leave a large ‘L’ shaped sitting room. Now here is an idea, how practical I’m not sure but the broad mouths of the fire box and oven itself led me to fantasise about filling the whole thing with water and having a huge aquarium (you don’t need to go that mad but you could easily create an amazing aquarium in a smaller scale.
A less idiosyncratic plan may be to simply remove the oven resulting in a huge lounge area, where the existing chimneys from the oven would easily allow a log burning stove. The room is kept surprisingly bright by the two front facing windows and this light could be further supplemented by replacing the central front door with a glazed panel or, should you wish to retain the door, perhaps a semi glazed stable type.
Moving up the (proposed) stairs brings us to a mirror of the lower floor albeit without the oven, leaving two enormous rooms. Again under the proposed plans this first room would contain two rear facing bedrooms, the largest of which has a window provided by the aperture of the outer door at the top of the external staircase. Again, should you wish to retain the use of these stairs, this could take the form of a glazed door still providing light.
Beside here would be the bathroom with its side facing window and, positioned directly above the kitchen this would serve to simplify the necessary plumbing works. Bearing mind the thickness of the walls, minimising the number of times pipes must pass through them can only be a good thing….
Moving towards the front of the home into the section above the lounge there are two further bedrooms, the larger of which features its own en-suite bathroom. Both these bedrooms have large windows overlooking some truly stunning views. In fact it is these views that suggest another possibility when considering possible the layout of your Grand Design; namely turning the home upside down.
A vaulted ceiling with large timber frames just sits there waiting to be stripped, varnished and turned into an amazing feature, making this a room to get inspired in.....you don't get rooms 'like this' in your modern day homes of today!
As the upper and lower floors share almost identical dimensions even down to the position of the windows and external doorways, it may be an idea to spend your sleeping time downstairs when views are naturally less important and moving the lounge and living space to the upper floor to take maximum advantage of your surroundings.
This way the external stairs at the rear of the home could be better utilised as they would give access straight into the kitchen, without the need to enter the sleeping area and the panoramic views from the lounge could scarcely be improved upon.
But what am I telling you all about what I would do? This is about your own interpretation and imagination but what cannot be denied is that this home gives you the perfect blank canvas to make something very personal and very special.
** There is a possibility to create two stunning apartments for holiday lets but you would need to consult your local planning department first **