EMMA ROBINSON, a senior lecturer at the University of Bristol and biomedical research scientist, has recently purchased a group of unique Devon Farm buildings and tells property editor Tracy Gwynne why she has taken on this particular property and long-term project.
HILL FARM Farm sits high up in the Teign Valley with wide reaching views to Haldon, Christow and beyond.
The Farm was separated from the original farm house in the 1970s and now consists of a complex of late 17th, early 18th Century farm buildings set around a courtyard with a 20th century dairy and caravan in the field behind.
The original farm house now known as 'Hill' is a grade I listed Devon farmhouse of huge historical importance.
The farm buildings consist of a grade II listed cob threshing barn and horse engine with a small cob linhay and stone barn behind forming a courtyard.
The threshing barn was put on the buildings at risk register in 2009 and all the buildings are now in a critical state.
The farm buildings are a beautiful example of a small Devon farmyard but have fallen into disrepair.
Alongside the buildings, there are 22.5 acres of surrounding land which are arranged over four fields. The views are spectacular.
The previous owner, the late Mr Ken Saunders lived in the caravan for more than 30 years and farmed the land until the late 1980s.
My family moved to the area when I was two years old and I grew up close to the property before moving to Bristol to go to University.
I now work in Bristol but with family still living in the area, I was keen to find a project which would bring me back to the valley.
I always loved these buildings although never believed I would have the chance to own them.
Having now bought the site my plans are to repair the barns so they can be preserved for the future, as a piece of history.
The Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings have been incredibly helpful in advising me and with one of their architect's help, I have a plan in place to repair the buildings and find a low impact use which will enable me to retain their integrity as a farmyard but also ensure they have a sustainable future.
In the short term, I plan to use the caravan site to live in whilst we do the repair work and in the longer term hope to replace this with a small property.
There is a huge amount of work to do on the buildings as you can see from the photos so this is a long-term project.
Costs are going to be the major factor in determining how long it will take as I only have limited funds but I am looking into sources of grant funding and hopefully can find support to help ensure this rare and very beautiful set of buildings can be preserved for the future without conversion.