Our Cottages – Then and Now

Both The Chestnuts and Culls Cottage are Cotswold Stone heritage cottages in conservation areas – as such they need and deserve preserving for future generations to enjoy. We thought you might like to see some pictures of the cottages before we owned them and we also wanted to tell you about some exciting developments at both of our cottages in the future.

The Chestnuts

As it suggests The Chestnuts was named after The Chestnut tree that stood next to it. You can see the tree on the right in this lovely old photograph. Sadly it is no longer there, but Chestnuts trees can be found around the village and especially by the Ford.

Shilton village in the past

It remained a small workman’s cottage for many centuries.

We finally purchased The Chestnuts in 1999 and since then it has had lots of love and a number of extensions, to become the four bedroom property it is today.

We continue to develop the cottage and have recently added a Garden conservatory room at the rear. Using a combination of the traditional (Green oak beam and peg frame) and the new, with eco – recycled glass foundations and modern thermally insulating glass.

But it’s not only the cottage that has had love but The Chestnuts garden too. It has been landscaped and will be extended to include a new meadow area with heritage varieties orchard and access to The Shil brook. Purchased in June 2020 we have built a dry-stone wall to enclose the new meadow and Jennifer the gardener is currently getting the soil ready for new meadow seed.

The Chestnuts site plan
Drystone wall construction
Drystone walls are part of the landscape of The Cotswolds and an ancient art to build.

We look forward to welcoming guests to this new area, once established.

Culls Cottage

Dating from 1670 and a Grade 11 Listed building – we are only the third owners of Culls. Initially built by Wadham College Oxford, it was sold to Captain Richardson in the 1920s. In 2009 we purchased the cottage from the Captain Richardson’s estate. It’s name coming from Mr Cull who lived here as the village cobbler. Having been empty for two years and only partially modernised in the 1960s Culls Cottage was initially uninhabitable. With nine months of renovations Culls Cottage opened to its first guests in January 2010. Below you can see the external transformation.

Over the last ten years Culls cottage has been transformed

The work has been extensive, The front door opened up, and new stone mullioned windows commissioned. Repointing the external stonework of the entire cottage is an ongoing project that is now nearly complete.

The quarter acre garden was also thoroughly overgrown and in the undergrowth lay a crumbling 17th century pig sty. The Pigsty now fully restored is the feature of a new patio area. The undergrowth has been replaced by flower beds and lawns. Only the original willow was able to be salvaged and returned to health with regular pollarding.

Culls cottage garden before and after

The repairs and maintenance of a Cottage with over 400 years of history never stops but we also have great plans for 2022/23, having gained listed planning permission for an exciting new extension. It will house a new kitchen and dining area and give us the opportunity to finally uncover and renovate the cottage’s original Well. The extension has been designed by a local architect and incorporates many eco features in keeping with our ethos, including recycled glass foundations, high thermal quality windows and a green sedum roof.