Thinking outside the box was the secret to converting rare Grade II* listed barn near Bishops Stortford

A cutting edge Grade II* listed barn conversion on the Essex Hertfordshire border, where rooms have been created in glass pods, has gone on the market with leading local estate agent, Mullucks.

The ancient barn at Hassobury, Farnham near Bishops Stortford dates back to 1300 and is thought to be the second oldest to one of the historically significant barns at Cressing Temple in Essex.

The glass pods have been built within a steel frame at both ends of the barn – each section weighing 15 tonnes with the poles within the structure sunk 1.5m into the ground. The rooms are used as a snug, office, gym, games room and utility room, and are individually heated.

Residential sales director, William Wells, said, “This is a phenomenal conversion which really has the ‘wow’ factor. Most people are not willing to take on the challenge of converting a Grade II* listed barn, but the glass pods work on so many levels, providing a great space which can be used for living and enjoying, coupled with an amazing design.”

The Grade II* listed property is one of two barns, now connected, which the current owners, James and Alison Crawford bought in 2006. It was only after they had finished updating their Grade II listed barn conversion that they decided to make better use of the older barn next door, on the site. They had originally been told could it could only be used for storage due to its historic pedigree. But after two years of negotiation, English Heritage endorsed the design on the condition that it didn’t alter the integrity of the Grade II* listed barn’s timbers, and they connected the two barns.  

James and Alison Crawford said, “It has been a considerable challenge to get this result, but with the space and rooms which we now have it’s been worth the hard work. The way the rooms can be used is very flexible and proved a fabulous addition to our home. We also have storage pods and the large space in the centre of the barn can be used to park a car but has more regularly been used for entertaining and is where we held our wedding reception!”

The Barn, Hassobury, near Bishop's Stortford which has five bedrooms and incorporates a Grade II listed barn and a Grade II * listed barn is on the market with Mullucks for £1.75m.