Renovation & extension of a Grade 2 Listed thatch cottage, Long Melford, Suffolk.

Renovation & extension of a Grade 2 Listed thatch cottage.

Long Melford, Suffolk.


The thatch cottage is Grade 2 listed, near The Green in Long Melford, Suffolk. It had not been lived in for 5 years and was in a very poor state.


The timber frame required repairing, the roof re-thatching, and the rear lean-to required demolition. The cottage was failing 80% of the wall plate and lower timber studs were rotten. It had no central heating; the electrics were scarce, out of date and inadequate. It required a complete renovation. The brief was to renovate the property, build a new detached garage and extend with a 2 storey contemporary extension for a young family.

Through consulting with the Local Authority Heritage Officer, the principles of the scheme were developed and agreed. The resultant design has two, 2 storey parts to the building, the original and the new part, each with their own staircase and joined together by a single storey slate lean-to link building. The fact that the original cottage was in such a poor state gave us currency for the amount of development allowed, the same would not have applied if the original cottage had been in a reasonable condition.

The final scheme on the ground floor shows a combined open plan kitchen, dining, living area and shower room, with a master bedroom and en suite upstairs. In the original cottage on the ground floor there is a formal lounge, dining room and hallway with a bedroom extension to the side and 2 bedrooms with a family bathroom upstairs.  The separate garage also houses the utility room, including boiler, water softener etc., with a below ground duct linking this to the main building.

The finished scheme blends old with new, creating a modern family home. The historic cottage is preserved and contrasted with a contemporary extension using traditional materials.