Boutique Development of the Year
Insider SW Residential Property Awards 2023
A contemporary terrace of eight elegant townhouses set within a historic and sensitive context
Rooksmoor Mills lies within the Stroud Industrial Heritage Conservation Area and immediately adjacent to the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The area is home to several listed buildings – some of great significance – as well as a number of historic warehouse buildings.
The site, which previously contained dilapidated buildings and a heavily silted mill pond, now boasts an elegant and simple terrace of eight three-storey, three-bed townhouses. The terrace follows the water’s edge to the east and the Woodchester cycle path to the west. The design – particularly the scale, massing, and window arrangement – takes cues from the area’s historic warehouses.
The front elevation, viewed from the mill pond, is restrained and formal with ashlar faced blocks and large aluminium windows. A recessed entrance area in dark engineering brick gives a clue to the material predominantly used on the rear elevation.
Viewed from the cycle path, the rear elevation appears more articulated. A bay window framing the staircase extends up to the third floor to produce an interesting silhouette. The window surrounds reference the coloured yarn produced at the mill which historically occupied the site.
The internal house layout takes full advantage of the steeply stepped site to embrace the spectacular views out to the mill pond and listed buildings beyond. The third floor is given over to a fantastic dual aspect roof terrace with plenty of room for seating, dining, and BBQ.
Car parking is located on the opposite side of the pond, which means the terrace’s frontage isn’t dominated by cars, with resident and visitor access via a new pedestrian bridge. The elevated boardwalk provides a unique and magical journey from street to front door and is also an innovative way to maintain river flow and flood compensation.
As part of the scheme, we reinstated the mill pond – which had become overgrown with invasive weeds, scrub and fallen trees – and installed a weir (complete with otter, fish and eel passes) to control water flow. Further improvements included sensitive planting and maintenance of the banks of the stream. These enhancements to the water course have resulted in ecological benefits as well as added beauty.
The eight houses are now complete and fully occupied. The overall masterplan consists of a further 46 dwellings which are still under construction, including a refurbished cottage building and 1,300sqm of commercial floorspace.
Images © Tom Bright / Savills