A wet time at Pannells Ash Barn – a luxury holiday let renovation
On: December 24, 2012   |   By: Pannells Ash   |   Under: luxury holiday let, Pannells Ash Barn, renovation   |   Comments: Comments are off

Our area of Essex is known as one of the driest parts of the region, recording the lowest rainfall in East Anglia. So it is hardly surprising that the maintenance of the ditches has not been high on the previous owners’ list of priorities.


Unfortunately for us though, all this rain has delayed the build and the run off from the fields has caused a few problems.

A run off pipe from the large field to the east of the barn runs into the pond. Now that the land has become waterlogged the resulting rush of water into the pond is very rapid. After a heavy rain, the pipe is running at full bore. This photo shows it at about 1/4 that.

A few weeks ago, it became clear that the old pipe running under the drive way (which was the pond run off into the neighbouring ditch) was blocked or had collapsed plus the run off ditch for the pipe on our side had silted up.

trench through the drive way

The rain swelled the pond. At one stage the water level rose till it was flowing over the driveway!

We had to dig a trench through the drive way to release the water and we then installed a new 9″ pipe and refreshed the ditch our side to allow the pond a natural run off.

The ditch in the neighbours’ property had for a number of years been used a final resting place for lawn cuttings it seems, blocking the drain link between the Farmhouse property and the ditch the other side of the bridal path.

old water course

The new owner Shaun has had a crash course in mini digger operation, and thanks to his efforts the old water course was reopened in record time.

Across the road, the pond level has risen and is overspilling onto the road  seeking to find its own downhill path.

Although the build has been slowed by the conditions, Bev and I have been able to get on the other dimensions of the project. We have with the help of Alan at http://www.surreylighting.co.uk purchased the light fittings.

A big thank you needs to go to Hayley at http://www.lewis-charles.co.uk for all her advice on bathroom and sanity ware.

Our best buy was from Will at http://www.sourcewoodfloors.co.uk The scale of the barn meant that we needed to go for a wide board and preferred the engineered option because of the underfloor heating. We opted for an oiled board for ease of maintenance.

These three purchases took a great deal of time, given the size of the rooms, and the number of bathrooms in the property. Thank god we do not have to start looking at wall paper samples and lampshades, I think I would lose the will to live!

Just the stone paving to reconsider now I thought it was a done deal but Bev is having second thoughts, from past experience she’s normally right so we’ll have to see what pans out in the New Year.

These purchases also nearly cost me our Christmas turkey. I discovered, whilst trying to pay the butcher, that floor boards and lighting had maxed out my credit cards!

So we are looking forward to the New Year and completing our beautiful barn and holiday lets.

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