The Restoration Man
Architect George Clarke helps anxious homeowners restore and convert neglected historical properties into totally unique dream homes.
S02:E01 - Reeds Windmill, Canterbury , Kent
After years of living away from their families, Pete and Nikki Fagg moved back down South with the dream of restoring and extending a derelict windmill which had been owned by Pete’s family for over 100 years. Locally listed, the windmill has been a roofless ruin since 1915 and its tapering structure overlooks an area of outstanding natural beauty in the heart of Kent. The build nearly comes unstuck when Nicci, who had recovered from cancer, suddenly becomes unwell again. Architect George Clarke is on hand to advise, and support them on their restoration journey as they battle with Nicci’s illness.
S02:E02 - Water Tower, Congleton, Cheshire
Andy Critchlow surprised his girlfriend Ana Perkins when he bought at auction this stunning, cylindrical Grade II listed Water Tower in Congleton Cheshire without even seeing the inside. Andy dreams of converting this building into an uber modern 21st century home which means selling their home and moving in his parents for the entire nine month build. As a Director of his own architectural practice, Andy tackles the build with huge drive and determination, but at what personal cost? Architect George Clarke goes on a historical mission and discovers how this monumental landmark sitting proudly on a hill in Congleton saved the lives of the people it overlooked.
S02:E03 - Church, Gamblesby Cumbria
Scientist Phil Evans and his wife Joanne take a huge financial gamble in buying a Grade II listed Church of England gothic revival rural parish church in the Eden Valley. They intend to turn it into a dream home for them and their young family. Newly qualified architect and brother-in-law Alex is project managing the build whilst Phil and Joanne live in Chorley, some 90 miles away. Disaster strikes early on in the build and the implications are huge on their tiny budget. Architect George Clarke is on hand to give them all both practical advice and a reality check when the costs spiral out of control and threaten to halt the project.
S02:E04 - The Engine House Brickworks, Uffington, Oxfordshire.
School bursar Tim and teacher Emma Verdon bought a derelict Victorian brickworks in the heart of rural Oxfordshire to convert into a comfortable home for themselves and their youngchildren. Nestling in 6 acres, the unlisted Engine House is nothing more than 4 walls with no roof. Tim and Emma enlist architect George Clarke to design a sympathetic extension. Emma gives up work to save money and project manager the build, but living away from site and mounting planning issues put immense pressure on them and they’re forced to make some radical decisions. Meanwhile George Clarke uncovers some disturbing history about their brickworks.
S02:E05 - Towers Revisit
In series one two romantics set about restoring a Martello Tower in Kent, and converting a medieval Scottish Tower into a rural bolt hole. Neither of them realised their dreams so architect George Clarke revisits these two stubborn romantics to see how they have progressed. Artist Sarah McCombie has owned her Martello tower in Kent since 2004, and ex-army man Barrie Taylor from Essex became custodian of his Scottish castle tower in 2005 proving some restoration projects can cost and take more time than many people realise. So two years on has Sarah got planning permission from English Heritage and has Barrie taken on board George’s advice and come up with a scheme that satisfies Scottish Heritage, the local council and the local people ?
S02:E06 - Medieval Hall, Vale of Glamorgan Revisit
Architect George Clarke revisits Simon Hooper and his partner Victoria who bought a unique Grade I listed Medieval Hall just outside of Cardiff. The project proved to be too huge for Simon to complete in his original timeframe with a tiny £40,000 budget. Architect George Clarke returns to the family to see if they overcame the challenges of restoring such a rare building and realized their dream of living in a unique home.
S02:E07 - Settle Water Tower
Former Chief Superintendent of Bradford Police, Mark Rand and his wife Pat are fervent enthusiasts of the controversial Settle-Carlisle railway line and it’s their life’s dream to own part of it’s history. Putting their money where their passion is they bought the Victorian Settle Station Water Tower to convert and live in as their retirement home. Sitting beside the station in what is now an industrial estate , the building has not been in use since the 1940’s. Mark wants to bring this Grade II listed building back to the 21st century and has plans to add a glass rooftop extension and seeks design advice from architect George Clarke. Unsurprisingly Mark and Pat face a battle with the planners which threaten to de-rail the whole project. Michael Portillo who says the best thing he ever did during his political career was to save this historic railway line pops in to encourage Mark. But have these mature restoration warriors embarked on a project too ambitious to see through?
S02:E08 - Chapel Revisit
Architect George Clarke goes back to visit Gareth Williams and his family in their restored Victorian welsh church. 4 years ago Gareth decided he didn't want to live in a bog-standard terraced house any more. So he bought a derelict church. To save money he decided to do all the work himself and get everything he needed off Ebay. But the church sits in a working graveyard surrounded by hundreds of dead bodies and that means lots of red tape. Luckily George was on hand to help with designs and to give the family much needed support when the stresses of the build threatened to tear them apart. Two years on George digs deeper into the fascinating history of this ancient building and we find out if church living is all it's cracked up to be.
S02:E09 - Bath Lodge Revisit
Architect George Clarke returns to Ormskirk after two years to see how builder Mark Horton and his family are doing living in their dream home: a former 18th-century folly that he restored after he found it on the Buildings at Risk Register. Mark was ready for the challenge, but disaster struck three months in when the bank pulled his loan. Pressures mounted with dramatic consequences for both his health and the build, but he managed to struggle on and finish the project. Now, long after the dust has settled, how are Mark and his family enjoying living in their extraordinary home?
S02:E10 - Ice House Revisit
Architect George Clarke returns to a remote 19th-century Scottish ice house after two years to catch up with its owner, Laird Henderson. George previously helped to realise an ambitious glass extension, but after budget problems and a clash with building control, will Laird have moved on and built the idyllic loch-side hideaway to match, or will he still be taking in the stunning views from his caravan as he struggles to complete the restoration?
S02:E11 - St John’s Church Revisit
Architect George Clarke catches up with Joanne McGirr and Phil Evans, who risked all to restore a Victorian Gothic church at the foot of the Pennines. Last time George saw them they were teetering on the edge of financial ruin and faced with the agonising decision of whether they should sell the project... Have they been able to keep hold of their dream home?
S02:E12 - Oast House, Kent
James and Lois Denning inherited a historic estate which has been in James’ family for the last 234 years. The castle and stately home that used to belong to his family have been given to the National Trust so they’ve decided to convert a stunning and only recently abandoned oast house into the core house on the estate. Architect George Clarke is on hand to advise them with the epic restoration of this beautiful old agricultural building into a grand 9 bedroom family home and he uncovers the rich history of oast houses and hop growing in the county of Kent.
S02:E13 - Telford Church, Berneray, Outer Hebrides
Using inheritance from his late father, artist Keith McIntyre and his wife Sheena bought this Grade B listed , Thomas Telford designed church in the remote island of Berneray in the Outer Hebrides. Keith and Sheena dream of converting the church into a holiday home and artist’s studio where they can bring their art students and musician friends to be inspired by the amazing light and rugged, desolate landscape. In restoring this roofless ruin, Keith and Sheena face challenges from the extreme weather and have to keep the neighbours on side whilst managing the build 400 miles away at home in Newcastle. Meanwhile architect George Clarke uncovers the church’s turbulent history.
S02:E14 - Longhurst Lodge
It was love at first sight when theatre producer Vanessa Ford Robbins and her partner Nik Huddy saw this unusual two up, two down Victorian gate lodge nestled on the boundaries of a country estate in Surrey. Derelict for nearly 50 years Nik and Vanessa dream of bringing this fairytale building back to life but they desperately need more living space and face mounting planning issues over extending this Grade II listed building. The couple tackle the build with huge drive and determination doing all the build work themselves but living in a caravan on site during winter takes its toll . Architect George Clarke is on hand to help advise and support the couple and also discovers some of the estates bloody history.
S02:E15 - Thrum Mill, Northumberland
Four years ago Dave and Margaret Hedley came across a picture of an old watermill that had stood abandoned and uncared for the last 50 years and decided that they were going to be the ones to bring it back to life. They pour their heart and souls into the restoration. Dave, an experienced amateur builder is involved with every step of the process, even designing the new mill water wheel which will allow them to generate hydro electric power from the force of the river. Architect George Clarke goes back to his roots in the north east and is there to help them every step of the way but as they battle floods and Margaret’s life threatening illness will they ever achieve their dream of calling this historic building home?
S02:E16 - Pig Barn, Nottinhamshire
David and Judith Ward want to downsize from their current large family house and be nearer to their grandchildren. Not fazed by the challenges of restoration they’ve bought a dilapidated pig barn across the road from their daughter’s farmhouse and with a loan from a friend they start the process of transforming a ruin into their 3 bedroom dream home. David is a charismatic preacher and has faith that even in this challenging market, they will manage to sell their old home, pay back the loan and raise the funds to finish the restoration. Architect George Clarke has been there since the start to give practical advice and guidance but will their hopes for a happy retirement in the bosom of their family ever become reality?