About Us and Manor Bottom
On a drizzly Monday morning, after a weekend of unsuccessful house hunting, baby in tow, and hopes very damp, we found Our House. It was at the end of a country lane, in among the woods, and surrounded by a horseshoe of downs. Even on a wet day such as that, Manor Bottom Barn, and its idyllic location had a wonderful vibe.
The barns and stables, built with local Island stone, are over two hundred years old and were originally part of Manor Farm. The main barn itself was stylishly converted into a house in 1991 by the renowned architects Caruso St John, (winners of the Stirling Prize in 2016 for the wonderful Newport Street Gallery). Since its conversion, The Barn has been loved by three sets of owners, the current set being our family of four.
On moving here, we first had to get our city heads around how country living works. There is no such thing as off grid heating, septic tanks and solid stone walls in Bermondsey! We then set about renovating two adjoining old agricultural buildings, a calf shed and a granary. Never having done renovation on such a scale, the works were harder than we imagined (Grand Designs doesn’t lie!) and a steep learning curve. The happy result is the new Granary, a building we love as much as our own Barn. In fact, as it has the pool, underfloor heating and a swanky new kitchen we are very jealous of it!
Our family live just across the bridleway from the Granary, so we are always on hand to help guests, give recommendations, or even cook a special meal. We know the best beaches, places to eat, the best runs, the best place to pick mushrooms! Our son, whilst a bit shy to start with, can draw a map of showing the best places at Manor Bottom to hide. Our daughter will sing you a song and show you a great tree to climb! Steve can also pick out a bespoke selection of books and records to interest you (click here for survey), or could suggest a good workout routine in the studio. Agnieszka, a business psychologist and coach, may sit down with you for career coaching consultations while relaxing in a garden or by the cosy wood burner.
Or we could just leave you alone, to enjoy the birdsong and the good vibe!