New Build: Hayes Farm

Forest of Dean Stone Firms has supplied paving and an array of masonry features for a courtyard development at Hayes Farm, a 100-acre livestock farm in Newent, Gloucestershire.

The courtyard forms part of a wider restoration project to return Hayes Farm to its former glory, with parts of the farmhouse dating back to the Domesday Book. The previous occupants sadly demolished the original outbuildings in the 1960s.

Indigenous Pennant sandstone from the Forest of Dean was the ideal choice for the re-construction of the outbuildings. With its natural colour variation the sandstone complements the tones of the main building materials.

Where possible, the homeowners were keen to source materials and labour locally.  They successfully specified and sourced trades people, suppliers, materials and labour from a 10-mile radius of the farm.  As a former Royal Forest, the Forest of Dean has been a prolific supplier of minerals and timber for many hundreds of years.  The construction project used timber from Lydney and bricks and tiles from Coleford, as well as utilising the skills of local carpenters for the creation and repair of individual windows and doors.

Commenting on the success of the renovation, homeowner and client Nigel Freeman said:

“To achieve this has been challenging yet incredibly rewarding. It has taken both patience and perseverance not least because we’re a working farm.

“The team at Forest of Dean Stone Firms has shown incredible skill, not only helping us with quantities and finish but also supplying exquisite masonry features; even our new chamfered mounting block looks the part!”

Nick Horton, managing director Forest of Dean Stone Firms said:

“It is always a privilege to work on projects like Hayes Farm. It reminds us of the natural beauty of our local resources.  In using long-lasting, sustainable materials like our Pennant sandstone Nigel is building for the future, not just the next generation of the Freeman family.”

Locality plays an important role in the everyday running of Hayes Farm, the completion of the redevelopment was marked by a barn dance held in conjunction with the local primary school. Nigel Freeman is also part of a farming co-operative, sharing his 100-acre estate and machinery with a neighbouring farmer.

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