A British couple transformed an abandoned church that was infested with rats into a 5-bedroom mansion. It's on the market for $4.3 million — take a look inside.

  

Category:  Other

Via:  ender  •  4 weeks ago  •  23 comments

By:   Mikhaila Friel

A British couple transformed an abandoned church that was infested with rats into a 5-bedroom mansion. It's on the market for $4.3 million — take a look inside.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



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Trinity House.  John Couch

Trinity House in Devon , England, was previously the parish church of Holy Trinity and was built in 1894, a spokesperson for the real-estate agency John Couch told Insider. 

It was designed by the architect John Watson and was the last Victorian Anglican church to be built in the Gothic style, according to the spokesperson. Gothic architecture is commonly found in church buildings and often has an   intricate and delicate aesthetic , according to My Modern Met.

The current owners, John and Amy Watson, purchased the property in 2021 after it was badly damaged in a fire.


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The exterior of Trinity House.  John Couch

The church building was used as a fun house for children from 2001 to 2017, a spokesperson for John Couch said.

It was badly damaged in a fire in 2019, and was left derelict until the Watsons purchased it in February 2021, they added. The couple   purchased it at auction   for $113,000, according to Page Six.

"It's been open to the elements since the fire," Amy Watson   said in an interview   with Devon Live in April 2021.

"All the soft play equipment was still there and it was infested with rats," Amy said, adding that they also had to remove bird poop from the tower below the spire.

Trinity House is located in Torquay, a seaside town in Devon, England.


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The view of Torquay from Trinity House.  John Couch

Torquay is well-known for its spectacular coastline, palm trees, a restored Victorian pier, and an international marina, according to John Crouch's  digital brochure . The town is also popular for its seafood restaurants, galleries, and cafes, the brochure states.

Trinity House and its private woodland gardens can be accessed behind a set of electric gates.


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The gates to Trinity House.  John Couch

There is also private parking and a sun terrace on the property, according to the brochure.

The Watsons renovated the property without taking away from the original church structure.


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The interior of Trinity House.  John Couch

The renovation work was completed around a week before the property was put on the market in July this year, the spokesperson said.

The architects involved in the project made sure the body of the church remained the same after its renovation, the spokesperson said. They added that only the symmetrical wooden staircases in the interior of the building could indicate that the building is no longer used as a church.

The staircases   cost £60,000, or around $69,700, and were built by local Devon craftsmen, according to Devon Live.

Many of the property's original features were kept intact, including this magnificent stained-glass window.


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The stained-glass window in Trinity House.  John Couch

Amy and John previously told Devon Live that some of the building's stained-glass windows were almost destroyed due to vandalism when it was neglected after the fire. However, the largest stained-glass window remained intact.

They added some modern updates, including built-in speakers for music and smart color-change lighting.


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The interior of Trinity House.  John Couch

The GAP LED smart color-change lighting can be used in the interior and exterior of the building, including in the garden, according to the brochure. 

There's also a fire alarm system with misthead fire suppressors and a security alarm with CCTV coverage, the brochure states. 

The original chancel and altar area was converted into a bar and games room.


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The games room.  John Couch

The games room is ideal for hosting guests, as it comes with a built-in bar and snooker table.

The church was designed with an open-plan layout, with the dining area leading into the reception area.


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The dining area.  John Couch

The dining area has a dining table and chandelier, and leads into the reception area which has a grand piano for entertaining guests.

The dining area leads into a bespoke modern kitchen.


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The kitchen.  John Couch

The kitchen was installed by British company Masterclass, according to the brochure, and was fitted with cabinets and an island with four bar stools, giving it a modern feel.

The property has five bedrooms, and each one has been designed differently.


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One of the bedrooms in Trinity House.  John Couch

The property also has five bathrooms. 

A formerly "secret staircase" leads to the church tower, which has been converted into a living area with views of Torquay.


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The church tower.  John Crouch

The spokesperson told Insider that the conversion was undertaken "with total respect" for the building's ecclesiastical architecture — a term used to describe the architectural style of church buildings — and that the ideal owner would be somebody who has a love for this type of design.


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Ender
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Ender    4 weeks ago

Something different.

Makes my house seem a little plain...

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  Ender @1    4 weeks ago

I'd hate to have to pay the heating and cooling costs in that waste of space.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  devangelical @1.1    4 weeks ago

Don't disagree but most there don't pay for cooling and keep the heat much lower than Americans in the winter.  Coin-operated gas heaters were  common in London flats when I was first there in the 70"s.  You had to pay to play up front. I remember waking up to ice on the inside of the window.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.2  Tessylo  replied to  devangelical @1.1    4 weeks ago

Who cares?  If I could afford that place in the first place that would be a mere pittance

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
1.1.3  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Tessylo @1.1.2    4 weeks ago

That’s not a very green attitude, it’s more of an Al Gore attitude.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.2  Tessylo  replied to  Ender @1    4 weeks ago

I absolutely love this

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2  TᵢG    4 weeks ago

I love seeing old, but structurally sound, building being renovated and turned from eyesore into a boost for the local property values (and possibly the local economy).

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Ender  replied to  TᵢG @2    4 weeks ago

Yeah I hate when people just tear down old buildings. If I had a ton of money to throw around I would want to do something similar.

I saw one where a man renovated an old gas station.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.1.1  devangelical  replied to  Ender @2.1    4 weeks ago

I worked as a telecommunications worker, field supervisor, and project manager, then was in home improvement sales for about 36 years combined, and I've seen a lot of homes. my favorite home was on a farm. it was a huge dozen plus car garage/workshop with a modern 1 bedroom apartment back in the rear corner. the man living there had built the apartment to live in onsite while his dream home was being built next door. he was very amused when I exclaimed to him "dream home, what could be better than this?" although we bonded instantly, I could tell his wife wasn't exactly sharing our common interest.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
3  Ronin2    4 weeks ago

Way too gaudy for my tastes.

Still looks too much like a church. I hated those when I was forced to go when I was a kid. No way I would want to live in one.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Senior Expert
4  Gsquared    4 weeks ago

They did a nice job.  The stained glass window is awesome.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
4.1  Ronin2  replied to  Gsquared @4    4 weeks ago

I am no expert; but I believe that the large stain glass window pictured is the original from the church.

From the article:

Amy and John previously told Devon Live that some of the building's stained-glass windows were almost destroyed due to vandalism when it was neglected after the fire. However, the largest stained-glass window remained intact.

Wonderful they were able to save it; but sure I would love the religious content shining down on me 24/7.

 
 
 
Gsquared
Senior Expert
4.1.1  Gsquared  replied to  Ronin2 @4.1    4 weeks ago
Wonderful they were able to save it

Definitely.

sure I would love the religious content shining down on me 24/7

If it gets to be too much for you, you can always hang out in the altar area that they converted into a bar and games room.  I actually think that's pretty funny.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
4.2  Tessylo  replied to  Gsquared @4    4 weeks ago

I love that especially.  The stained glass

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
5  JohnRussell    4 weeks ago

It looks beautiful but it would never seem like a home. 

If anything , it looks more like a museum. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
5.1  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @5    4 weeks ago

Yeah, I doubt I would have chosen to convert a church into a high-end home.    They needed to convert it into something that could be sold for a profit.   A high-end home does the trick.   Depending upon the nature of the local area I might have investigated a condo complex.   Depends on the layout of the building.   The trouble with churches is that they are designed with a massively large common area.   Very difficult to break that up effectively.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
5.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  TᵢG @5.1    4 weeks ago

Whoever buys that edifice to be their home will have the comfort of thinking themselves to be closer to God.  

Actually, I had a client in Toronto who was an architect who purchased an abandoned church and turned it into 5 condo units.  It was a very successful endeavour.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
5.1.2  TᵢG  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @5.1.1    4 weeks ago

Good point, a wealthy Christian would be a likely buyer.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
5.2  seeder  Ender  replied to  JohnRussell @5    4 weeks ago

Imo it would almost feel like living in a monastery, with disco lights.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
5.2.1  devangelical  replied to  Ender @5.2    4 weeks ago

there's a bar/dance club in downtown denver that used to be a church. if you look at the big picture, there's probably not that much difference between the two with what happened inside that building now vs then.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
5.2.2  TᵢG  replied to  Ender @5.2    4 weeks ago

Except the style and creature comforts are quite a bit better.   And no need to do that midnight service thing (unless you really want to).

 
 
 
shona1
Junior Participates
6  shona1    4 weeks ago

Morning..I just want to know how much is their heating and electricity bill..

Would be freezing in the winter...

They have done a great job etc but not my cup of tea and doesn't float my boat.

But each to their own and good on them.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
6.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  shona1 @6    4 weeks ago

Same, shona.  Those high ceilings must make it really hard to heat.  It's lovely, and I wouldn't mind staying there for vacation, but to heat it year-round?  No, thanks.

 
 

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