The Restoration Man
Architect George Clarke helps anxious homeowners restore and convert neglected historical properties into totally unique dream homes.
S01:E01 - Bath Lodge, Ormskirk
Formerly brought up on a council estate, builder come good Mark Horton has for years harboured a dream to live in a unique house. With this in mind he buys an 18th century folly and plans to convert it himself into a luxurious family home. On the ‘Buildings at Risk’ register for ten years Bath lodge is just a derelict shell with no access road or utilities. Architect George Clarke is on hand to advise, support and turn detective as he uncovers the history behind this mysterious building. Mark is ready for the challenge, but disaster strikes 3 months in when the bank pulls his loan. Pressures mount with dramatic consequences on his health and the build.
S01:E02 - Llanreithan Church, Pembrokeshire
Gareth Williams doesn’t want to live in a bog-standard terraced house and dreams of owning a unique home for his family. Despite no previous building experience, he buys a disused Victorian welsh church, and plans to convert it himself to save money. But the church sits in a graveyard surrounded by hundreds of dead bodies and that means lots of red tape. A tiny budget forces Gareth to source most of his materials from Ebay. Architect George Clarke is on held to help with designs and gives the family much needed support when the stresses of the build begin to take a huge toll on the family.
S01:E03 - Meline Newydd Windmill, Anglesey
Clive Bolton and his wife Jane dream of retiring and making their new home in a Grade II listed windmill in Anglesey. Derelict since the 1920s it’s situated on an island with picturesque views but fierce winds. Architect George Clarke discovers its rich history and helps tackle the many design constraints of this beautiful round tapered structure. But the build suddenly comes to a halt as personal tragedy strikes the family.
S01:E04 - Towers
Architect George Clarke takes on the enormous task of advising two stubborn romantics who each own derelict military towers and dream of converting them into unique homes. Artist Sarah McCombie has owned a Martello tower in Kent since 2004, and ex-army man Barrie Taylor became custodian of a Scottish castle tower in 2005. Although the years have gone by, their restoration dreams remain in limbo as progress has been very slow and neither of them has planning permission. George tries to give these dreamers a reality check, but getting them to listen will be half the battle.
S01:E05 - Field House, Piling. Lancheshire
Former childhood sweethearts Chris Kelly and Sue Hindle rekindled their romance 8 years ago and have dreamed of uniting their families under one roof. With this in mind, they fall in love with a tiny cruck-framed Field house and plan to convert it into their first family home. But with 4 teenage daughters to house, they will need to get planning permission for a crucial extension to make this dream a reality. Architect George Clarke is called upon to advise, support and help design a sympathetic extension. As the stresses mount and cold feet set in, it looks like this fairytale might not have the happy ending they all wanted
S01:E06 - Thorington Gate Lodge, Suffolk
Former heavyweight boxing champion and star of Guy Ritchie’s smash hit ‘Snatch’, Scott Welch has spent 20 years harbouring a dream that he would someday own Thorington Gate Lodge in Suffolk. Undeterred by the fact it sits beside the busy A12 and he hasn’t even seen the inside, Scott buys this tiny Georgian gem. Having missed out on a lot of family time he plans to convert it into a weekend retreat so he can spend more time with his father who lives near by. Architect George Clarke uncovers the history and designs an uber-modern glass extension to transform this miniature marvel into a 21st Century home. However, it soon becomes clear that Scott’s fight to get planning will not be an easy win.
S01:E07 - Ice House, Crinan Ferry, Scotland
Laird Henderson enjoys the outdoor life and has for years harboured a dream to live in a unique home where he can make the most of his lochside surroundings. Ten years after buying a remote Scottish Ice House for £6k to use for storage, he plans to live onsite in a caravan while he converts the 19th Century stone fridge into an idyllic hideaway. Architect George Clarke advises and helps design a 21st-century glass extension to provide access to the stunning views. But the build suddenly comes to a halt when Laird clashes with Building Control and his caravan is served with an eviction notice.
S01:E08 - Coach House, East Sussex
Lisa and Darren Walker dream of converting a Coach House into a unique family home. While they work on the build, they plan to live onsite in a tiny caravan with their teenage son and 3 dogs. Despite having no previous building experience, Lisa plans to project manage the entire project and build a kitchen from scratch at the same time. Architect George Clarke is on hand to advise, support and uncover the buildings history. But it soon becomes clear that the restoration won’t be as straightforward as they’d hoped, which puts pressure on the family and their budget.
S01:E09 - Medieval Hall, Vale of Glamorgan & Trawsgoed Mansion, Aberystwyth
Architect George Clarke takes on the task of advising two families who have bought rare and nationally important buildings in Wales. Simon Hooper and partner Victoria dream of converting an ancient Grade I listed Medieval Hall into a unique home but their budget is tight. At the other end of the scale are the Edwards’ who have fallen in love with a neglected 70 room mansion and are determined to restore lavishly back to its original glory. Both highly ambitious restoration projects prove to be more challenging than their new owners anticipated.
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