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: OtherVia: ender • 4 weeks ago • 23 comments
By: Mikhaila Friel
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.