House of Design Architects

Buttrums Mill

Buttrums Mill is a Grade II* listed windmill and outbuildings near Robertsbridge in Suffolk. The mill is a very well preserved example of an early Victorian mill and is in excellent condition. Our client purchased the plot that contained the mill and its outbuildings and the Mill Keepers Cottage on the main road and our brief was to convert and extend the mill outbuildings from light industrial use to residential to provide a self contained family home.

Heritage consideration and sensitive design within the context of a Grade II* listed building was of primary importance in this project. The new buildings needed to be designed in such as way that the legibility of the heritage of the mill via its setting was not lost or subverted with domestic details . Dovetailing this heritage requirement with modern living was an interesting challenge.

Our project proposes retention of the granary building that is directly attached to the mill and the former masonry stable block attached to the granary. The rest of the outbuildings are to be demolished and replaced with a new linear arrangement of living spaces, contained within buildings that respond to the industrial character of the area and that use materials that are familiar to that context. The buildings roughly sit within the footprint of a larger array of buildings including a pigsty and a boiler house that previously occupied the space around the mill.

To the north the plan bulges to accommodate a guest bedroom, plant room and ensuite bathroom. A new entry point to the house is provided within the under-croft of the granary within the old part of the building and the brick stable building is reconfigured as living accommodation on the ground floor and a master suite on the upper floor. A southern extension provides a combined living and dining space with large format windows looking south over the meadows.

Throughout the course of the project we fully engaged with the Local Authority and the final design, that we hope to submit to planning shortly has been well received and praised by Historic England and East Suffolk District Council.

Long view of the mill and granary.

Granary and former stable.

Photo at the turn of the century showing historic outbuildings.

Proposed ground plan.

Proposed elevation.

Early 3D study looking at arrangement options.