Druidstone Round House

Posted on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Perhaps my smallest project to date in terms of building volume, this former croquet pavilion built by the Edwardian “world champion” at his home at Druidstone, located on the very edge of the cliffs overlooking St Bride’s Bay, this is now a secret retreat of international film and music stars as part of the wonderful Druidstone Hotel.  The ‘cottage’ even in its original form, was always booked up for years in advance, even at Christmas and over the winter.  Completely self sufficient with its own water, candles and oil lamps for light and coal fire heating and bottle gas cooking it provided the ideal retreat for couples in a spectacular setting.


Jane Bell, my client and proprietor of the Druidstone, asked me to bring it up to the 21st century to make it not only self-sufficient but also fully sustainable, with the addition of its own separate wc and shower room and galley kitchen, whilst retaining the spirit of the original’s simplicity.  All elements were completely reconstructed with high levels of insulation, air tightness, low embodied energy materials such as limecrete and lime mortars, sheep’s wool insulation, Leca clay insulation within the floors and new timber joinery.


The original open fire was replaced in its existing location with a Dutch tile stove providing direct low temperature radient space heating to open plan living bedroom and new separate bathroom using small timber fuel in a fast short burn system.  Hot water was also provided from this stove and from roof integrated solar panels. Separate photovoltaic panels provide 12 volt electricity together with a 250 watt wind turbine.  WC flushing water comes from a rainwater recycling system, the wc drains to a horizontal reed bed and pool system on the cliff top alongside.

New windows are strategically located for both the dramatic views and to provide passive solar gain.  Not many shower rooms have a view of just sea, sky and the horizon!


This building’s nearest neighbour is the Future System’s designed ‘holiday cottage’ known locally as “The Eye”, built almost underground under a green roof, but with none of the self-sufficiency or principles of sustainability to be found in the Ecocottage.