Restoration man gives lodge a new lease of life
QUIRKY, is how Mark Budd describes his home, but although true, that single word doesn't quite do justice to this Grade II listed building.
When he bought it, two years ago, Mark was in need of a project to channel his energy, so he set about improving the house, and he's finished it beautifully.
A plasterer by trade, Mark can also turn his hand to most practical jobs, and for those tasks which require a specialist finish, he has friends in the business, including the owner of a reclamation yard.
The latter friend, for example, supplied Welsh slate roof tiles, a period fireplace in the second bedroom and a whopping wooden beam that runs the length of the ceiling in the living room. Fitting the great chunk of oak required busting a hole in the wall, but it was worth it.
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Pale painted walls, a brick fireplace with wood-burner and oak floorboards complete the basic look, while a snoozing dog curled up in his basket next to the fire sums up the cosy feel of this room.
With the kitchen next door and a wonderful view through the large window, this space is where Mark spends most of his time.
Overlooking the large terraced garden, with woods beyond and hills in the distance, it's certainly a peaceful room.
Built in the 1760s as one of five lodges to the Kings Weston estate, this building's distinctive black and white exterior, with its columned porch, is well known to those who travel up and down the hill between Stoke Bishop and Shirehampton.
Park Lodge was designed by the architect Robert Mylne, who was also engaged in the construction of stables, walled gardens and alterations at Kings Weston House.
Wooden gates, which once stretched across the road next to the lodge, and which feature in old photographs, marked the edge of what was then a private park.
It's also thought that this was where tolls were collected on the turnpike between Shirehampton and Bristol. The gates was removed during the First World War, when they were considered a restriction to troop and vehicle movements.
Next door to the lodge is Shirehampton Golf Course and at the bottom of the garden is a gate that leads directly into woodland. Meanwhile, a high brick wall separates the house from the neighbouring properties on the opposite side to the golf course, so it is not overlooked from any angle.
Not content with doing up the interior, Mark has also transformed the three-quarters-of-an- acre garden, which begins at the top level with an ornate patio and pond before dropping to a lawn, and a lower gravelled level, all surrounded by shrubs and mature trees, with outdoor lighting (including a Victorian lamppost), plus three sheds.
Back inside, Mark has painted the wooden kitchen cupboards a soft green and added wood surfaces and a deep Belfast sink; he's installed another wood-burner in the second reception room (or third bedroom) and there are oak floorboards almost everywhere.
The smart white bath/shower room is also on the ground floor, along with a utility room off the kitchen, then a staircase rises to the beamed master bedroom, again with that great view.
Details like a stripped wood balustrade, window shutters, oak internal doors, cast iron period-style radiators, and bedside cabinets made from reclaimed wood are more evidence of Mark's improvements.
Now he's completed the transformation, Mark wants to move on to another project.
He explained: "I bought it so I could do it up and if I sell it for £300,000 I'll have made a few thousand. I like it because it is detached, there are no close neighbours, there are no parking problems and there's a great view.
"It's also something a bit different. All my friends love it.
"If you like golf there's a course next door and if you like cricket there's a pitch across the road. Whoever buys this house will have to like gardening too, and the garden's a great place for parties."