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Peek behind the curtains at historic Buxton cottage saved after £60,000 makeover

Bank Cottage in Buxton
Bank Cottage in Buxton

One of the oldest homes in Buxton has been shortlisted for a national award after being saved from dereliction.

Bank Cottage, on Eagle Street, had fallen into a state of disrepair after lying empty for more than two years.

Bank Cottage before the restoration.

Bank Cottage before the restoration.

But it has been given a new lease of life as a holiday let following a £60,000 makeover.

The property – which dates back to the 18th century – is now in the running to win a nationwide award from holiday firm Sykes in the best renovation category.

Owner Hayley Parker paid £147,500 for the three-bed detached house just off the Market Place in July 2016 before carrying out an eight-month refurbishment.

Work included a new kitchen, two bathrooms, a full rewire, repointing, roof repairs and all 16 windows were replaced.

How the garden used to look.

How the garden used to look.

Since welcoming the first guests last summer, Bank Cottage has been almost entirely fully booked.

Hayley, of Buxton, said: “When the estate agent first showed us around it was a bit of a dump. The windows were all rotten, the wallpaper was hanging off and the garden was a jungle. It was like stepping into a time warp.

“But as soon as I went upstairs and saw the views of the Devonshire Dome, the Pavilion Gardens and Palace Hotel, I fell in love.

“I didn’t want this forlorn little cottage to be consigned to history. It pre-dates all the buildings close by like the town hall and Eagle Parade and we believe it was built around the same time as the Crescent. I thought to myself ‘if they can save that magnificent building, then Bank Cottage can be saved too’.

“My DIY only skills stretch to changing a lightbulb so I was really lucky to get a brilliant builder, Jason Hoyle, and painter and decorator, Paul Tuvey, to carry out most of the work.

“I was keen to use local companies so the kitchen and bathrooms were from Fairfield Builders and Buxton Woodworks, the stove was bought at The Heat Exchange and Buxton Building Supplies did the windows.

“There were times when I wondered whether I had done the right thing but it’s paid off massively. We’ve now welcomed more than 60 families from as far away as Singapore, Holland and Hong Kong.”

Hayley’s partner Pete Smith, added: “The feedback has been great. Everyone comments on the location in the middle of town. We’ve met many people who’ve lived in Buxton all their lives and never knew Bank Cottage existed.

“It’s been a journey to get to where we are now and to be short-listed for an award tops off what has been an incredible first year.”

Bank Cottage is among six cottages across the area to make the cut in the Sykes Gems competition. The others are Glen’s Cottage in Longnor, Rose Cottage in Matlock, Cambridge Lodge in Wensley, 61 The Hill in Cromford and Hazel Cottage in Belper.