Historic restoration at Priory Farm in Langstone reaches completion
9:02am Saturday 17th August 2013 in News
A BUILDER who has invested hundreds of thousands of pounds returning a listed farmhouse to its former glory will reap the fruits of his labour this autumn.
The Argus revealed this spring how Carl Meredith expected to spend almost half a million restoring Priory Farm in Langstone, which was ravaged in a suspected arson attack in 2002.
Mr Meredith, a Langstone community councillor, studied old photographs taken before the blaze to rebuild the grade II listed building, thought to date back to the 16th century.
Now, the retired builder is weeks away from completing the renovation, with a few windows and doors and internal works before he and his wife Michelle can move in.
Mr Meredith, 48, said: “We’re probably five or six weeks away.
“This is what I have done all my life.
“Hopefully within the next three weeks we will have the windows and doors in.”
Mr Meredith bought the derelict farmhouse at auction for £100,000 in 2010.
The couple moved onto the farm in Priory Drive off the A449 in spring 2012.
He expected to spend around £450,000 on renovation works but he now anticipates the final bill will come to around £350,000.
He said: “We’ve been reconstructing it the traditional way with lime, it’s an old technique. We’ve installed timber floors which have been brought in from the Forest of Dean and sent to a saw mill in Usk.
We have also installed traditionally made windows to replicate the originals. It’s a bit tricky as we don’t have many photos from that time, but we’ve had fun trying to find the best match.
“We’ve used the stone we found outside whenever possible, lime plaster and mortal, all traditional hand techniques.
“It’s all about respecting the building and its history.
“I initially ordered a modern kitchen for it from a local supplier, but I was thinking about it and I just thought, it’s not right. It wouldn’t suit the house.
“So we’ve invited people in to give us an estimate on how much it would be to fit the house with everything done by hand, so it looks like it has always been there. We just want to stay as true to the character of the house as possible.
"It will never be a beautiful building, but we will make it as nice as we can."
Mr and Mrs Meredith have been staying in caravans juggling the restoration with farm life looking after sheep.
But his 52-year-old wife is taking a break from it all enjoying a holiday on the continent.
Mr Meredith, who helped to expand Pencoed College in Bridgend and maintain Cardiff rugby ground and Glamorgan cricket ground in Cardiff, added: “She’s gone to France, you’ve got to have the odd break.”
The 40-acre farm also features two barns, one of which could be turned into affordable, rented accommodation for local people.
Mr Meredith said he understands the former resident fell ill and moved into a care home prior to the 2002 blaze
Comments are closed on this article.