A Couple Bought a Crumbling 700-Year-Old Medieval Farmstead and Turned it Into a Fairytale Retreat

Nicki and John Beavan’s journey to transform a crumbling 700-year-old medieval farmstead into a fairytale retreat in Worcestershire, England, is a testament to their vision and dedication. In 1999, while searching for a home that could accommodate Nicki’s furniture design business workshop, they stumbled upon a dilapidated 12th-century farmhouse with a medieval tithe barn. The enchanting allure of the property captured their hearts, and in 2000, they embarked on a 20-year restoration project, turning Parsons Hall Farm into a charming hideaway in the English countryside.

The couple’s initial challenges included renovating a farmhouse with a leaking roof and a detached kitchen described as “a few sticks of timber.” Undeterred, they brought in an Aga to infuse warmth into the space. They prioritized enhancing the property’s spring-water source, creating boreholes, and implementing an underground heating system. The restoration of listed buildings, like the farmhouse and tithe barn, required navigating conflicting regulations, leading them to enlist the help of a conservation consultant to preserve the historical integrity of the structures. Despite their growing workload, which included expanding into farming and welcoming a second set of twins in 2003, the Beavans persevered. They ultimately realized their dream of building treehouses on the property, securing planning permission in 2009.

The treehouses, crafted with handmade furnishings, underfloor heating, hot tubs, and even a waterfall, are now available for guests to book, providing a unique and enchanting experience for special occasions. For Nicki and John Beavan, the interconnectedness of their restoration efforts—from the farmhouse to the tithe barn to the treehouses—has created a harmonious retreat where guests can immerse themselves in the magic of the English countryside. The Beavans’ journey exemplifies the transformative power of dedication, historical preservation, and a touch of fairytale inspiration.

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