The Provi, Converting a 17th Century Pub to a Family Home, Devon

The Providence Inn in East Prawle, the southern-most village of Devon, will remain in our hearts and memories for ever.  The village of East Prawle was where my Nanna, Edna Armstrong, lived for over 40 years and it's where I spent the majority of my childhood holidays.  I have fond memories as a child of visiting The Providence Inn, the local's pub in the village dating back to the 17th century.  In fact, my Mum occasionally played on their darts team when we visited and my Nanna pulled a few pints there on occasions.  

When we were looking for a family holiday home back in 2010 it seemed fate that the old Providence Inn was on the market, having been left to waste for the previous 2 years since closing as a pub in 2008 with the small village no longer able to support two pubs year round.   It was like it had stopped in time, optics and beer barrels still connected up, marine memorabilia all over the walls, pub sign and last orders bell still standing.   We therefore embarked on one of our most challenging but exciting projects to date, converting this 17th century pub in to a 6 bedroom family home.   Needless to say it needed a lot of TLC, but it had so much potential and the sea view from the garden and upper living level was just stunning.   Here's a few before pics, some dating way back before our time, but it's special to share the history of this place too.

Incredibly, and surprisingly given the age and history of the building, it wasn't listed.  Although we'd bought the old pub in an auction with planning permission already in place to turn it in to a family dwelling, we decided to modify the plans slightly so we could create a flat roof over the kitchen and create a larger master bedroom with ensuite and a sun view terrace.  With amended plans submitted, we commenced work internally with the rip out, which was pretty intense.  The lads had never seen dust like it, we found everything from snakes and safes under the floor boards to air conditioning units stuck up chimneys.  And lots of damp, not atypical being by the coast.   We had to take it back to shell, floor boards up, ceilings down, stud work out as it was all rotten, and start again from scratch.  But how lovely to go back to this beautiful stone framework, which if nothing else was as solid and sturdy as any good build.

So over several months and MANY visits to Devon, we gradually restored this beautiful building, seeker rendering where necessary to protect from rising damp, putting in new studwork, new flooring, new ceilings, new everything pretty much and here is the finished home.  Naturally, we were keen to keep as much character as we could, retaining the wooden beams, and with interior finishes that reflected both the period and character of the home, as well as it's countryside setting.  However, modern bathrooms and kitchens were installed to contrast with the historic features and bring the home in to the current era.  Although we had to seeker render a lot of the walls, we managed to keep some exposed brick as a feature in the dining area.

The building was then rendered white on the outside and a glass balcony installed at the back, over the new flat roof of the kitchen, creating a beautiful terrace with views out to the sea and surrounding countryside.

In 2020, we took the decision to sell this Devon home to help finance the development of our current family home here in St. Albans.  It was also a big commitment, and we felt that we'd had our time there and it was time for someone else to enjoy it.  Our visits had become less frequent with busy lives back home, and there's other places in the world I'd like to explore more.  We have 10 years of memories there with countless friends and family members, and it will always be a special place for us.  So cheers to the Providence Inn, and we hope that everyone that gets to enjoy it in the future takes as much pleasure and memories from it as we have.