Hillcott Barn
Hillcott barn an old Herefordshire threshing stone barn located in the village of Hope Mansel near the forest of Dean featured on Channel Four's Grand Designs series in April 2006. The project started filming in 2004.
The barn located on a vantage point of a steep hill adjacent to open farmland and woodland was a raw canvas unspoilt by progress. The construction of the roof was in rustic timber using elm for the trusses and rubble stone with lime pointing and lime washing to the walls. The roof was in blue riven slates.
As a threshing barn the structure had narrow arrow slit windows to provide natural ventilation to the stored grain and two large openings opposite each other to facilitate the threshing of the wheat. The structure was all about wind and shelter using the high vantage point to great benefit.
The designs employed expert conservation techniques that have been developed by RRA Architects over many years. A radical plan to facilitate phased construction and off site manufacture was adopted principally as a cost saving measure.
The essence of the design was to rest lightly on the fabric of the old barn and insert modern accommodation standards in the form of pods that created the kitchen, dressing room, bathroom, ensuite and tv snug. Each of these were made off site and lowered into a pre prepared position ready for connection.
The raised roof was the ingenious architectural design, featured on the show. This method of introducing ventilation and daylight into the building without the need for new windows or enlarged arrow slits, which would have destroyed the delicate historic fabric of the walls of the barn was the key to the success of the project and good conservation technique.

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