Stoke Canon Barn Conversions

History in the Making


When we first viewed these barns near Stoke Canon, they were still full of the dilapidated remnants of a small working farm, with stables, machinery and even pig pens still in situ! Our architect partners, Robinson Jary, worked on designs for converting the barns into a range of eight stylish new homes of various sizes, from one to five bedrooms. The barns originally belonged to an historic Devon manor house, which was once home to Major General Sir Reginald Walter Ralph Barnes, cadet friend of Winston Churchill, who visited in 1924.


Clearance work started in July 2017, followed soon after by the challenge of sourcing water for the properties. This involved drilling a borehole from which a clean water supply could be pumped. Structural work included excavation of the existing sub-bases and installation of reinforced ground-bearing slabs, closely linked with localised underpinning and the stabilising of the historic stone walls.

Bringing the properties up to date in terms of energy efficiency meant adopting modern construction methods internally so as not to disturb the external appearance of the barns and to achieve compliance with current building regulations.


Our sister company, Arcken, undertook the plumbing work, fitting bathrooms in each property.

The Project Manager, Ethan Pratt, recalls some of the challenges encountered during the build:

“The most challenging element was working sympathetically around the historic buildings, some of which were in poor repair when we started on site. Carrying out major structural works, while maintaining the original façade, presented it own difficulties which we addressed through careful management, structural engineering and a skilled site team.

“Coordinating the various utilities and services into a relatively tight courtyard, while carrying out the construction work, also posed a complication which had to be overcome through good communication and flexibility on site.

“We were lucky to have a reliable and committed site team who were happy to adapt and overcome any issues that cropped up, it’s not easy to predict what will be found while working on these types of buildings”.


The chosen designs retained as many of the original features of these Grade II listed properties as possible, so window arches, interior oak beams, cob walls and beautiful brickwork were all preserved or restored where necessary. Fortunately, we have plenty of experience in working with historic buildings such as this, including restoration work for the National Trust and Crown Estate.

Thank you to Stags Estate Agent for the above two images.

The finished result blends old and new, each unit being completely unique in character and completed to a high specification.

If you’d like to enquire about your own barn conversion project, please do get in touch.