Together with his friend David, John owns a beautiful area of woodland, just beyond the castle above Wigmore. It is termed ‘ancient semi-natural’ referring to it having been wooded for over 400 years, containing primarily native tree species. The mature oak woodland combines with that of a neighbour to stretch across a total of 200 acres.
Our timber-framed barn sits at the edge of the woodland, built from the 100 year-old oak trees that grow on site. Its traditional construction belies its age, as it was in fact designed by John. He and David built it with their own hands, carrying out all aspects of the work themselves – from digging the footings by hand, laying the stone foundations and plinth walls, framing the oak, and then cladding and roofing it. At one end, a large curved tree was split in two along its length, and the two halves used to create an ‘A’ shape, or ‘cruck’ frame, that provides a wonderful sense of openness to the rafters.
The barn is an amazing venue, with spectacular views across the Wigmore Vale. As well as providing woodland storage and workshop space, it has been used to host a ‘country’ wedding, and has provided a memorable venue for summer parties.
On sunny evenings we often visit the woodland to light a fire and enjoy a barbecue supper with a glass of wine – a wonderfully peaceful way to end the day.
We highly recommend a walk to our woodland to enjoy the scenery, the views, the flora and fauna (including ‘wild orchids’ and ‘lily of the valley’), the wildlife (deer, hedgehog, swallow, flycatcher...), and to see ‘the barn’.