Grand Designs: Cornwall's engine house in pictures - where are Adam and Nicola now?

Since Grand Designs started over twenty years ago, the Channel 4 series has introduced the public to some of Britain’s most stunning properties and impressive architectural feats.

We’ve seen everything from chapels to whole streets renovated from the ground up while hearing from the Brits who own these incredible properties.

One of the show’s more memorable locations was an engine house in Cornwall.

The couple taking on the crumbled wreck of an engine house had just a year’s deadline to complete the renovation. Check out their finished properties here in pictures!

Screenshot: Grand Designs Cornwall, 2011 – 4oD

Adam and Nicola on Grand Designs

Stonemason Adam Purchase and his partner Nicola Brennan, who is an academic researcher, had just 12 months to convert a Cornish silver mine engine house into a stunning new home. They bought the land with two dilapidated engine houses on it for just £200,000.

They were pressed for time as the mortgage they took out from the bank self-certs. This means they were allowed to take out £100,000 to get them through the first engine house. They would then re-mortgage the first engine house so they could get the next £100,000 for the second engine house.

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Adam and Nicola’s friend owed them “a big favour” and was doing the house’s plumbing. Nicola’s brother is an electrician and he promised to do the electrics.

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Adam and Nicola’s Grand Designs for engine house

They had big plans for the Grade II listed property.

One of the engine houses they were going to convert into their home, the other into a property let as a source of income.

Given their stature, there would be four floors in the engine house. Adam and Nicola also planned to put in massive Georgian windows, a glass balcony and rebuilt the roof.

Adam and Nicola estimated that the both engine house would cost £100,000 to renovate each. They had to borrow this money from the bank.

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Has the engine house been completed?

When we left off at the end of the episode, Adam and Nicola had used up their £100,000 budget and hadn’t yet finished the property. They hoped to be done by 2012.

We couldn’t find any updates on Adam and Nicola’s property, nor find it as a rental online, but we did find out more about Nicola.

Dr Nicola Brennan is a medical researcher at the Peninsula Medical School, University of Plymouth. You can read more about her educational background here.

We also found that Adam is still working as a stonemason with his brother Barry. Their work was featured on page 14 of Cornwall Living 43 (January 2016).

Screenshot: Grand Designs Cornwall, 2011 – 4oD




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