Wonderful windmill conversion
The Windmill is a unique property in Scopwick that has been beautifully restored and is now a family home which combines heritage with modern day living.
Situated in the pretty rural village of Scopwick, The Windmill is an outstanding historic home with a prominent tower providing spectacular views over the surrounding scenic rural landscape.
The property, which dates back to the 19th century, oozes character and has been sympathetically renovated and updated by its current owners, who have transformed this once derelict building into a light and airy modern home with an array of well-designed creature comforts.
The six-storey, original brick tower with traditional tar exterior features an impressive circular entrance hall leading to generously proportioned ground floor rooms with timber and flagstone floors, plus a magnificent, bespoke steel-framed staircase with galleried walkway. The adjoining wings are home to four double bedrooms with vaulted ceilings and two en suites, plus a Jacuzzi bath in the master en suite. There’s further potential for a fifth double in the tower.
Downstairs in the main tower, you can enjoy relaxing in the 24ft long living room, which features surround sound cabling suitable for a home cinema, with inglenook fireplace and working open fire. All principal rooms on the ground floor lead onto the terrace and two acres of gardens through elegant French doors.
History and heritage
The Mill was originally built in 1827 and was fully operational until 1912 when it was dismantled and the disused site became overgrown and fell into disrepair.
The Mill was registered as a listed building in the 1980s and the initial planning permission was granted to the owner (aptly named Mr Millman) in the late 1990s before it was sold to the next owners, who decided it was too big a project and put it back on the market without starting.
James, the current owner, moved to the Mill in 2002 when the property was just the derelict mill tower and chimney, and lived on site in a caravan while the initial phase of the build was done. Together with his partner Julie, the couple (who live here with their cat, Vesper), recall the many changes and improvements made during their years in residence.
James explains: “As there was nothing on the site other than the derelict mill tower and chimney, everything had to be built from scratch, starting with extensive repairs to the tower, installing windows, building the wings, reinstating the roof and floors in the tower (neither existed), and adding the 360-degree balcony which had also long gone.
“Planning allowed building onto the footprint of the old mill building, so we created the two wings either side of the tower and added a new porch, very similar to the original one. All the windows in the wings are timber, double-glazed sash, but those in the tower are metal, in keeping with the original. We wanted to keep the tower in the spirit of its original use so have created an industrial feel in the Mill itself, with exposed brick walls in the bottom half, although the top floors have been insulated and lined.
“The wings have a more homely feel with the large farmhouse style kitchen, while the bedrooms all have their own individual style but there is a consistency across all of them with calming colours and styles suitable for the environment. Exposed beams in the bedrooms at either end of the house and the luxury bathroom on the fifth floor of the tower provide extra impact.”
Julie describes the overall feel of the house as “peaceful and close to nature with the wildlife and views from every room in the house”.
“James is a car enthusiast so the fact that there is lots of garage and outside space makes it ideal for tinkering at the weekend,” says Julie. “It’s also a very peaceful place to live; the open views from the back terrace are ideal for enjoying breakfast on a sunny morning and we sometimes have a drink on the balcony with views for miles across the fields.
“The number and variety of spaces within the house also mean there are rooms to enjoy lots of different pastimes, from reading on the balcony level floor, to playing music and watching movies in the large sitting room, which doubles as a home cinema. We’ve tried to reflect the original purpose of the building within the Mill, but have created a living space that is comfortable, practical, but with luxurious touches which reflect the countryside around.”
Julie says her favourite part of the house is the ground floor of the tower: “When you look up at the double height ceiling you can see the curve of the steel staircase as it rises to the upper floors and when you look down you see the octagonal wooden floor – it’s really special.”
The couple agree that the house would suit many buyers, including those looking to work from home.
“James has worked from home for the past 10 years using numerous rooms over that time, but finally settled on the third floor of the tower. The second floor (balcony level) also doubles as an informal meeting room. I also started working from home in 2019 and used one of the bedrooms which was perfect.
“The house is ideal for working from home – we have full fibre broadband here giving up to 900mb, mobile reception on O2 is excellent and there is plenty of parking for visitors too.”
Electric gates lead to the spacious gravelled drive with parking for numerous vehicles, with a separate garage block with two double garages with automatic doors and additional hardstanding to the side. There is also an electric car charging point inside the garage with wiring for a second.
“The grounds are split into an acre of paddock at the back and about an acre of garden surrounding the house. We’ve left both the garden and paddock fairly natural as the flora and fauna in the local area is amazing, we can watch hawks and owls hunting in the paddock and Vesper enjoys watching the swifts speeding around in the spring!”
Ideal for entertaining
Julie and James have designed and optimised space in the garden while also planting a number of trees, including stunning October Glory maples along the driveway and fruit trees in the front corner.
“The terrace is south facing so gets the sun all day and extends the length of the house, meaning it is big enough to accommodate a variety of seating arrangements. There is also plenty of room in the garden to put an additional seating area, BBQ or summer house. All of the main ground floor rooms have double doors onto the terrace so it can all be opened up, providing a great entertaining space. Inside is really flexible too, for example we have used the sitting room for film nights, projecting onto the wall for a real cinema feel! In the winter having a roaring fire going in the inglenook fireplace is very special.
Once sold, the couple are planning to downsize so they can spend more time travelling around France.
They add: “The Windmill is a unique, quirky and beautiful home, which we will miss very much.”