Cornwall LivingIssue #63
A perfect framework
Add the ‘wow’ factor to a build or conversion with stunning bespoke oak frame from Carpenter Oak Cornwall.
Tim Simpson and Tom Jubb, both originally from Cornwall and keen to return to their roots, left the original Carpenter Oak in Devon, to set up their own, franchised model, Carpenter Oak Cornwall, which would also specialise in timber framed buildings but in addition, offer complete build projects across the region.
“Our customers are always blown away by the space for both getting ready in, and staying in.”
The Cornish yard was set up near St Ives in 2014 and the company hasn’t looked back, particularly thriving in the accommodation and hospitality market. “We’ve seen a steady rise in enquiries from clients who are looking to tap into Cornwall’s ever growing tourism trade and make the most out of their own property,” explains Tom, “whether the conversion of a redundant barn or a new building to complement an existing commercial holiday cottage venture. Our clients really feel that an oak frame from us will give them that something ‘special’ to stand out from the crowd, in what is an increasingly competitive market.”
An early client was Nancarrow Farm, near Zelah, which has developed from an existing, family-run pastoral farm into a luxurious wedding venue, complete with rental accommodation and thriving restaurant using the farm’s homegrown produce. Carpenter Oak Cornwall designed and raised the oak-framed barn, which hosts regular feasts and wedding receptions, as well as converting an old chicken shed into a luxury bridal suite that stayed true to its agricultural roots.
“Our customers are always blown away by the space for both getting ready in, and staying in,” explains Steve Chamberlain of Nancarrow Farm. “We chose Carpenter Oak Cornwall after they were initially recommended to us by a local architect and we’d absolutely use them again!”
Another project, overlooking the north coast near Boscastle, was built as a second home and holiday let for Rick and Petrea. The four bay, traditional style oak frame includes an open-plan living area and mezzanine level above. “The feedback has been so positive,” says Rick, “people love the building, especially the relaxed warm feeling that the frame creates and the way the building sits in the landscape. Using the oak frame enabled us to use natural finishes throughout the house which adds a calmness and a space that you are happy to spend time in.”
Petrea adds: “The building has a timeless quality which enables it to sit comfortably in the old rural hamlet where it is situated. The sculptural quality of the building always wows visitors when they step inside, and people love the relaxed warm feeling that the frame creates. We wanted to create a beautiful home that was also both practical and sustainable. Carpenter Oak appealed to us, being a local business, using traditional skills and attention to detail. The whole process was well managed and precise without losing the personal touches that make such a difference.”
Mike and Karen Chiffers, owners of Fingers Point near Ludgvan, returned to Cornwall and spent several years planning what to do with their existing barn, a former cowshed and latterly used as workshops. Carpenter Oak Cornwall took on converting the barn into a luxury holiday let, named after the nearby top of the hill where visitors would always point toward
St Michael’s Mount.
The conversion needed an entirely new roof structure and an oak frame fitted the Chiffers’s brief of creating something striking and high in quality whilst also being from a local supplier – just five miles from the workshop. “Everyone loves the attention to detail everywhere you look, especially the oak work. We used Carpenter Oak Cornwall because they understood the attention to detail and ‘wow’ we were trying to create within a small area.”
If you’re visiting Cornwall or are thinking about creating your own rental accommodation, seeing a Carpenter Oak Cornwall building in person is the best way to get a feel for how a timber frame can open up space and create flexible buildings that appeal to guests, depending on the size of the group or family.
As well as domestic dwellings that you can rent out, you can also visit public buildings such as Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, with its newly completed oak framed gallery, The Cornish Arms near Padstow (reviewed in our last issue) or the Duchy Nursery near Lostwithiel.
"Our customers are always blown away by the space for both getting ready in, and staying in."