We always wanted to build our own home in a village where we could walk to the shops and amenities. We could not find a plot of land in a village - only in rural areas - needing a car to get anywhere. Lyndsey found an old dilapidated building in the centre of Great Missenden - 3 bedroomed home, electrical shop and commercial outbuildings. We understood that we could get change of use on the shop - to a home; but we decided to turn the shop into an Art Gallery.

We completed on the purchase in April 2005 and appointed Paul Collinge, of Aldington Craig & Collinge, as architect. Planning approval was passed with a unanimous vote in August 2005, subject to retaining the architecture of the front of the building which is in a Conservation area. 11 party-wall awards were made on adjoining properties and tenants as they would all be affected by the re-build. We started demolition of the old building in September 2005, ground-works started in February 2006 and building commenced in March 2006.

During the demolition antique ships timbers were found supporting the floors - they were being used as joists. These were sold on eBay. We uncovered a beautiful well under the main building. Still had a water supply and really expertly constructed - unfortunately it was at an important corner for the foundation so it had to be capped - what a shame. During the excavation, much to everyone's surprise, a cellar was found which was rebuilt and became a welcome extension to the home.

The first building to be completed was Dennis' Workshop - which became the site workshop for the whole build. Our Builders were Walson Construction who had worked for us on many occasions before. Dennis project managed the construction and had a wide of variety of talented tradespeople involved in the build. We had a long unplanned delay waiting for the glass curtain wall which was finally installed in February 2007. We moved into 1 Church Street during April 2007.

The garden was designed by Andy Sturgeon, 5 x Gold Medal winner at Chelsea Flower Show. His brief was to design an evergreen maintenance-free garden that we could both enjoy without feeling guilty. The design incorporated a Koi pond and rill with stepping stones. It was selected for the National Garden Scheme.

One Church Street Gallery had its first exhibitions in September 2007 but really only opened in Autumn 2008.

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 Before - Peter Cumin's Shop     
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 Before - rear of main building     
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 Before - Outbuilding and stables     
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 Before - Rear view of outbuildings     
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 Empty building before work started     
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 Old ships timbers in the floor     
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 Rear of house demolished     
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 Foundations for workshop     
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 Cellar being re-built     
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 Waiting for the glass curtain wall     
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 The glass curtain wall installed     
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 The courtyard     
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 The dining room and breakfast bar     
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 The Koi pond and Studio     
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 Dennis's Workshop     
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 Inside Dennis' Workshop     
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 One Church Street Gallery today