The Carpenter's Shop
Unlike the mill with all its machinery, The Carpenter's Shop was just an empty structure and was therefore a good candidate for conversion.
Paul Pearn, our architect, wrote of his proposals, all of which were followed:
"I have tried to retain the functional industrial character of the elevations - you will see that the existing type of window [the big workshop windows with their overlapping glass] is suggested and that the opening sashes would be similar to those now installed. Unfortunately the majority of the frames will have to be replaced because the wood is rotten but I have told the builders that when the time comes to work on the building, the existing windows must be copied."
The same approach was taken to the arrangement of the interior: by tucking the bedrooms at either end, reached by a new cast iron spiral stair and a gallery, it was possible to keep something of the feeling of space which the old workshop had.
Work started in 1968 and was finished in 1969. The roof, which had originally been slate but had been repaired with corrugated iron, was now re-done in slate. The bargeboards and fascias, and doors, were painted the rusty colour found on the old doors, painted with red lead or iron oxide. The main door opened onto the road, which would have made the living room both awkward and draughty, with the back door opposite. So it was blocked with old bricks salvaged from Dunsland, near Holsworthy, a manor house with Jacobean and Restoration plasterwork which was tragically burnt down while work at Coombe was in progress. A door from the orchard as anyway safer and more private, so the small addition was made at the north end, to double as porch and bathroom. In the main room, the old forge provided a fireplace.