Grand Designs fans shocked as pair demolish historic mill they’re restoring

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Grand Designs

Viewers couldn’t believe their eyes on Wednesday (Picture: Channel 4)

Grand Designs viewers were left gobsmacked on Wednesday night, after a couple who set out to restore a historic ruin ended up knocking it down within the opening 15 minutes of the episode.

Cumbrian couple Rob and Ruth began with the intentions of conserving a 200-year-old former mill. 

The initial plan was to build around the existing stone walls inside a wooded valley, retaining the character of the initial building. The pair set themselves a target of moving in within 18 months, with a budget of £250,000.

To complicate things, the existing structure had previously been made a scheduled ancient monument by Historic England. As a result, changes to the structure need the consent from the secretary of state to be approved.

However, fans of the show were shocked after they were forced to demolish it in the early stages of the project after being told it wasn’t structurally sound.

The pair were hoping to incorporate the former Blacking Mill into their new home. But sadly for Rob and Ruth, the building they fell in love with was deemed unsafe, meaning it had to be knocked down completely. 

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‘It’s gone from a tranquil little location to a building site. Hopefully once it’s a building again we can recreate that tranquil location again,’ architect Rob said after it was knocked down.

‘It looks like a bomb has hit it,’ host Kevin McCloud added after seeing the site after the walls were demolished.

‘This building started as a pile of stones quarried by these hills behind me, and that’s what they are again. Oh dear…’ 

Fans couldn’t believe what they were seeing during the opening moments of the episode, sharing their surprise on social media.

As the episode explained, the ambitious couple set out to use the mill in their build, having purchased the site for £110,000.

They planned to use as much of the mill as they could in their design, while slotting in a new timber construction that incorporated the historic stone walls. 

Instead, they used the stones from the original building in the new house and attempted to recapture the spirit of the mill.

Grand Designs reveal

The final result was worth the wait (Picture: Channel 4)

‘I found it and have been obsessed with it for the last seven years. It’s almost like a bit of a magical place,’ Rob said. 

‘Rob took me here the first time I came to meet his parents. I fell in love with it. It’s the perfect location with a river running through it and a lot of green trees,’ Ruth added.

After seeing the project three years after they started, Kevin said: ‘Wow, that is the set for the Game of Thrones. I mean that in a really, really complementary way – it’s brilliant.’

Grand Designs is available to watch on All4.

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