Kestle Barton

On first impression, this had been a well worked traditional Cornish farm, which had become impractical for modern farming, and been locked up and left to slowly deteriorate. The scantle slate roofs had collapsed inwards, the cob wall washed away where the rain could get to them and the timber was rotten with wet rot and woodworm.  Putting all that aside, you could see the potential and what a great place this could be.

Restoration of Kestle Barton
This was an intense but also interesting project.  All the timber used consisted of locally grown Douglas Fir.  The cob walls were rebuilt in a traditional manner, with hydraulic and putty limes used for rebuilding and rendering.The exterior of the building needed to look as original as possible, re-using as much as we were able from the existing building; scantle slate, granite and slate troughs.  The old barn doors were repaired to be in keeping with the original building.

Inside is quirky with all the timber exposed, the walls uneven with some special details, walnut cladding & kitchens and floating oak stairs with glass banisters etc.  The heating for the property is via a wood chip boiler located 40m away from the building and the water is supplied by a borehole and harvesting tank.

Kestle Barton turned out to be a fantastic place and the whole team worked hard on this restoration, which went on to win two awards, the Cornish Buildings Group Award 2011 and the Green Apple Award 2011 for The Built Environment and Architectural Heritage, based on the design by Alison Bunning and the attention to detail and quality of work
by K.P.K.

Jonathan Cann, K.P.K. Director and Foreman at Kestle Barton.

Awards received for Kestle Barton


Project details

Kestle Barton is an ancient Cornish farmstead situated above the Helford River. Carefully restored, the farmhouse is now converted into barns and exhibition gallery.

Time Frame

A phased Project over a two year period, starting in 2011

Construction methods

  • Traditional Cob Work
  • Home Grown Douglas Fir Structural Timbers
  • Scantle Slate Roofing
  • Hydraulic Lime Renders


Alison Bunning RIBA