A Visit To Leominster Reclamation Yard

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll no doubt know that my partner and I are renovating a late Georgian house right now. it was quite a wreck when we bought it, and required considerable rebuilding. I won’t bore you with the details, but will simply say that a month or so ago we were standing in the basement looking up through thin air at the sky above us! Not a floor or internal wall in sight! All scary stuff, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
It isn’t listed, and one of our key aims has been to use original or reclaimed materials wherever possible. That has meant quite a few visits to my favourite architectural reclamation yard, Leominster Reclamation (above), that I first visited when filming Cracking Antiques. Our first visit yielded some superb reclaimed solid teak parquet flooring for much less than the cost of cheap brand new laminated flooring. This visit saw us find some octagonal Victorian terracotta tiles, with snazzy turquoise square tiles in between (below), for our hallway, and some nicely weathered York flagstones for the pathway outside.
We also plumped for some 1950s French concrete tiles with rather wonderful coloured pin-wheel designs (below). I know they aren’t terribly Georgian, or even Victorian, but it’s important to remember that houses were never frozen in time, and bore the signs of many renovations and redecorations across the decades. These will look sensational in a small anteroom that used to act as the ‘tradesman’s entrance’ downstairs.
We also found all manner of other pieces from door furniture to stair rods to a fantastic chandelier (bottom). We just couldn’t leave without it. Made in France from painted metal, it probably dates from the same period as the tiles. Shabby chic without being shabby, and hinting somewhat at the rococo, it has a very contemporary look. We think it’ll look stunning hanging in a stairwell.
I can’t recommend a visit enough. Rupert and Pru, the owners, are kind and friendly, and know where everything is. Take warm and sturdy clothes, as such places aren’t exactly clean. But that’s half the fun. Use your imagination too, as that’s the rest of the fun. Take something grubby out of a muddy field in your mind’s eye, and let your imagination go on a journey to see how you might be able to use it. The adage that ‘they don’t make them like they used to‘ is also true – these pieces have a quality that is rarely matched or bettered today. And they’re often less expensive than similar examples made today. And reclaimed pieces are better for the environment too. So, reclaimed pieces are green, typically of great quality, and often less expensive….if you’re undertaking any building or renovation work, what’s stopping you?!

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