English Cottages

A Fairytale Cottage in an English Village, 450 Years Old. Let’s See How People Live Here

It’s hard to imagine that somewhere in the world there are residential buildings built over 400 years ago. Not museum exhibits, not gingerbread houses in tourist centers, but quite sturdy buildings (albeit beautiful) where people still live.

This cottage in the English village of Kingham is one of those. Medieval, stone-built, with small windows, tiny rooms, a thatched roof, and a small fairytale courtyard. It seems that such structures are usually shown in movies and TV series about the Victorian era.

The current owner (who, by the way, is an interior designer) acquired it in 2017. At that time, the building was in excellent condition, thanks to the previous owners, but it had its drawbacks – for example, there was no bathroom, and the interior walls were lined with plain boards. Therefore, the first thing the owner did was to start restoring the original architecture.

Check out the result below and feel free to comment!

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© Tom Griffiths

This is how the house we’re visiting today looks. The village of Kingham, where it is located, is quite small. According to the latest census data, only 913 people live there.

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© Tom Griffiths

The new owner not only renovated the house but also redesigned it – in a small annex, which was used as a storage room, they installed a compact kitchen and a bathroom with a shower. Previous residents used an outdoor toilet.

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© Tom Griffiths

Let’s step inside! Here, they restored the brickwork, painted the ceiling and beams (previously they were dark brown). Light shades helped visually expand the space. All the furniture (sofa, footstool, armchair), as well as the sofa cushions, looked different too. They were upholstered with new fabric that suits the classic English style better.

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© Tom Griffiths

Behind this door is a small television. They disguised it so it wouldn’t stand out from the unified style. If you want to watch a movie, just open the doors. How do you like this idea?

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© Tom Griffiths

In English homes, decorative plates on the walls are very popular. These the owner brought from a trip to Portugal, and she bought two more (on the left) at an auction. The wooden chest of drawers belonged to her grandmother. The ceramic hen figurine was also hers; it used to hold fresh chicken eggs, but now it’s used as a place to store keys.

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© Tom Griffiths

This armchair was the first item the owner bought for her antique house. The removable cover needs to be washed almost every day because the dog usually sleeps here.

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© Tom Griffiths

And here is that very kitchen in the former annex. The seat cushions of the chairs were also reupholstered with fabric.

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© Tom Griffiths

The kitchen is very small, so there’s practically no storage space here. The owner didn’t install additional drawers (for example, overhead cabinets) – it would clutter up the already tight space.

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© Tom Griffiths

Would you like to have dinner here? I would! By the way, about the prices. The antique table (though you can’t see it under the tablecloth) the woman bought for only $6.

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© Tom Griffiths

There are two small bedrooms in the attic. Here’s the first one.

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© Tom Griffiths

And here’s the second one. It’s dark because there are no proper windows, only a tiny attic window.

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© Tom Griffiths

This is Victoria, the owner of the house, with her dog named Otty.

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© Tom Griffiths

And lastly, a photo of the courtyard garden, surrounded by stone masonry and shrubs from all sides.

Qualified interior designer and article author specializing in home and residential interiors since 2021. My favorite topics include Scandinavian design, reviews of English cottages, as well as simple and light ideas for apartment decoration.

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