Shoestring Warrior ┐
About the book
Look Inside
Longwood Then and Now
Making Cob
Map of Longwood



Inspirational Books



The drive had swallowed up so much money and we were going to have to sell whatever we had and somehow procure more for the privilege of staying at Longwood. Work on the house needed regular supplies of stone, lime, cement, straw and clay. That was the seminal point when we decided we would sell as soon as we got planning permission, but if things continued in the same vein we would have to consider selling without it.  
Had things been equal or even logical, I am sure we would have felt different but something of the magic had gone. Struggling to fight for our existence was one thing, but having to fight to save the house from demolition was quite another matter. There is a rotten anomaly at the heart of the planning procedure, and if that forced us to sacrifice what little comfort we had, then so be it. We were determined not budge from this place until we got planning permission.
Once the decision had been made, the most important thing was to get planning per­mission, as the thought of another farmer coming along to buy the land, using his big machines and buying potions and lotions to make the land viable and deter the wildlife was not a nice one.
In the end, we were delighted to sell to a couple as enraptured with the place as we had been and I was pleased to finally hand over my bulging dossier and all the treasures we had found.
There are probably quite a few cottages that have had the distinction of having had a book written about their renovation.  But there can’t be many that have been the subject of such an intense and prolonged battle for survival.  Lynda and Joe struggled against so many things in their fight to save Lower Longwood.  But their main battle was with the ‘grey suits’ who said the cottage was abandoned and didn’t exist, and it took them two and a half years just to win the right to repair it!  They handed over their unfinished project to enthusiastic new owners in 2001 and can now look back with pride and a little satisfaction at what has been achieved.



If you have been inspired by the story of how Lower Longwood was saved from ruin and would like to experience for yourself the beauty and tranquillity of this very special place, the good news is that you can!  Lower Longwood is now available as a holiday cottage. 


Click on this link to find out more:




Escape to Lower Longwood to relax and enjoy the magic of this remarkable place. Lower Longwood is genuinely unique, comfortable and cosy, unashamedly eccentric, unusual, interesting and fun; a spectacular looking thatched property surrounded by acres of space, all round country views over a beautiful lake to woods and hills beyond and includes a stunning lake. Here is a wonderful place to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life and capture the essence of a truly unspoilt and tranquil spot surrounded by 90 acres with ancient woodlands, natural paths and plenty of wildlife. The house is rustic in style with masses of oak beams, stone walls, window shutters and all enhanced with bright splashes of colour.”

Extract from Toad Hall Blog, Friday, May 28th, 2010

“…another exceptional property added to the Toad Hall portfolio. Lower Longwood in North Devon offers a completely unique and unashamedly eccentric holiday destination for those looking to truly escape the rat race. With daydream-inducing views in all directions, set beside a stunning fresh water lake and amidst over 90 acres of quintessential, English countryside, this magical offering provides ‘Shire-esq’ accommodation in the shape of a beautiful thatched house that will sleep up to 6, with an exquisite Mongolian Yurt that can accommodate a further 3 …The attention to detail at Lower Longwood is so great that the owners have even gone to the trouble of importing Appledore sand to form a small beach at one end of the lake!”