THE HAVEN - BLAGDON - House For Sale

Blagdon Village, Chew Valley, North Somerset

Stunning, Uninterrupted Views Overlooking Blagdon Lake and Chew Valley

Home  •  Lounge  •  Kitchen  •  Dining/Office  •  Hall/Porch  •  Bathroom  •  Bedrooms  •  Utility  •  Extra Rooms  •  Balcony  •  Roof/Attic  •  Exterior  •  Garage  •  Cardeck  •  Windows  •  Garden/Greenhouses  •  Workshop/Shed  •  Insulation  •  Patio/Decking  •  Oak Trimmings  •  Incoming/Outgoing Services  •  Points of Interest
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The Lounge Mantlepiece
The Haven is lavishly trimmed with solid oak which gives it a powerful richness. Windowsills, the mantlepiece, cupboard tops, shelves, and door/window lintels in all the rooms.

Do you remember the hurricane that swept across the South-West of England in the year 1987? Yes, that's right, the one Michael Fish said would be a bit windy.

Poor chap has never lived it down. But to be fair, the lousy prediction was the result of BBC cutbacks in meteorological data sensors and senders in the English Channel. The French, on the other hand got it spot on as their computer models were better informed. Sorry, I digress.

A large oak tree fell across the road in a Somerset village and a friend of mine, who trades in timber, took it back to his wood yard. He planked it up into 2" thick slices and rested it on skids in a barn to weather for around 10 years.

When we bought the Haven in 1995, I was looking for wood around the timber yard for various jobs in the house and came across the stock of oak right at the back of the barn. It was dusty but when you brushed off the dirt the wood was very bright and clean.
The Lounge Windowsill    Lounge Fireplace Mantle
I asked Dave, the business owner, if the wood was ready to go. He observed that it was buried so far at the back of the barn he'd almost forgotten it was there, but 'Yes', it was ready to use and thoroughly weathered.

'How much do you want?' he asked casually. I could see him measuring up how many tons of wood would have to be moved to get to it. His eyes lit up when I replied, 'All of it!' So yes, I bought the whole tree and used it to make these beautiful windowsills (see photo's) and mantle.

We spent months sanding them down (oak is bloody hard!!) and shaping them, keeping as much of the natural edge as possible, for variety and interest. The splinters were lethal, sometimes up to an inch or two long, and festering almost overnight. Lots of surgical spirit and TCP to kill the puss, but don't worry, the oak is now sanded, smooth and none of these problems exist any longer.

The beautiful and rich sheen and honey colour are the product of finishing the oak with Danish Oil. Simply rubbed into the grain with a cloth and allowed to dry, the finish is glossy, easily cleaned and very hard.
Small Bedroom Windowsill    Antique Fireplace in Dining Area
Oak Drawers in the Lounge    Lounge Windowsill
The original plan was to front the radiators below the windowsills with brass panels, cut out with Fleur de Lys, to make a screen for the radiators, but to also let the heat out. However, just after finishing the oak, I had a bad accident which took years to recover from and the job just didn't get done. I made mighty sure there was enough room to house the framework and panel if you still wanted to finish it off. I see that B&Q and Homebase also sell the plywood or mdf panels with the same shapes cut out, and are a lot, lot cheaper than the brass. Of course, lacquered brass is maintenance free, whereas wood coverings need to be stained or painted.

Interested? Please email your contact details to:
For more information, or answers to questions, or to arrange a viewing, please call Phil or Jill on 01761 462722.