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Features > Winter > Artist & Designer Homes > Rustic Renovation
EW022: Rustic Renovation
Nestled in a quiet rural village close to the River Cherwell, this charming Grade II listed cottage, with views overlooking open countryside, has been lovingly brought back to life by Gilli Hanna and her partner Graham Wilson. Complete with rustic thatch and thick stone walls the bijou cottage, built in 1705, has an enchanting feel, and is filled with a well chosen collection of antique treasures. “We were living in London and were contemplating buying a narrow boat for weekend escapes. On a chance visit we found a boat, complete with mooring, for sale on the Oxford Canal,” says Gilli. “We started to visit regularly and fell in love with walks across the unspoilt valley, catching glimpses of Kingfisher, and foraging for wild ingredients to make nettle soup, elderberry cordial and sloe gin,” says Gilli. “We discovered the wisteria covered cottage on one of our walks and were struck by its timeless appeal,” says Gilli. The interior was in a bad state of repair, but the couple, with a long standing passion for buildings, architecture and restoration, knew that they could reinstate the integrity of the original one-bedroom cottage. “For the first year, we stayed on thenarrow boat at weekends and worked hard to bring the life back to our special home,” enthuses Gilli.
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