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David Pocknell’s exciting and intelligent work at Great Saling in rural Essex is perhaps Britain’s finest barn conversion. Providing both living accommodation (including five bedrooms and two reception rooms) and extensive workspace under the vast roof of a Grade II* listed 14th-century ‘cathedral barn’, the property is a thrilling combination of both the contemporary and the historic. The barn (completed in 2007) has an internal area of over 8,000 sq ft.
Upon entering through large barn doors, one arrives in a courtyard (67 ft x 40 ft) that showcases the magnificent oak-frame vaulted structure of the building. The courtyard also provides a great space for entertaining, storage or even parking. Within it are two colourful ‘houses’ (designed by Pocknell) that provide storage space for boilers and various other pieces of technical equipment.
To the right of the courtyard is a spectacular two-storey glass and steel structure with spiral staircase that currently houses office space, a cloakroom and a kitchenette. To the left is the living accommodation.
The detailing is exceptional throughout the property. The large living room / dining room / kitchen (with underfloor heating) has been arranged to provide areas of intimacy within what is a largely open-plan space. There is a fitted Bulthaup kitchen with a four-oven Aga and an extended dining area that has views over the local farmland.
Also on the ground floor is an annexe reached via an internal hallway (which provides storage / utility space). The self-contained annexe is a light and airy space that has a bedroom and further living / kitchen / dining room.
Solid oak stairs lead to the first and second floors where more bedrooms and study space can be found (for further information, see Accommodation).
There is ample parking space at the front of the property and a landscaped garden at the rear. There is also a vegetable garden and further lawned areas.
The house can be found in a tranquil location on the edge of the village of Great Saling, close to the popular market town of Great Dunmow. There is a local farm shop which provides groceries (and a Post Office service) in Great Bardfield as well as a primary school and pub in Great Saling, whilst a wider range of shops and places to eat out can be found in Great Dunmow. Braintree is the closest large town, and Saffron Walden and Sudbury in Suffolk are also a short drive away. The Suffolk coast (including Aldeburgh and Southwold) are easily accessible from Great Saling, as is Stansted Airport. Trains to London Liverpool Street run from either Braintree, Witham or Stansted, with journey times of 45 mins – 1 hr. For a map click here.
David Pocknell is an internationally renowned, multi-talented designer whose work spans a number of different disciplines. He currently leads Pocknell Studio, a company best known for both its book design and its work with buildings, such as the barn in Great Saling. Throughout his long and successful career, Pocknell has proved himself to be a masterful designer with meticulous attention to detail and a refined sense of proportion and form.
Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.