In 2016 Dracup’s Cottage in Bridgnorth appeared on the property market and immediately attracted nationwide attention. However, it wasn’t until three years later that we became the new owners of this truly unique property. We wanted to preserve all of the original features and share the charm of the cottage with others by turning Dracup’s Cottage into a serviced holiday cottage.
Antony Dracup lived in Bridgnorth for more than 20 years. His most famous local legacy is his home, in which he transformed an ordinary railwayman’s cottage into a work of art. You can read more about Antony and his work HERE
When we first viewed the cottage it had stood empty for a few years and, although not obvious at first sight, time had taken its toll. We’d hoped a good clean and a lick of paint would have prepared the cottage for the first guests, but oh! How wrong we were. Every ‘little’ job would turn into a major challenge requiring hours of planning, sourcing materials and physical labour.
These included the rebuilding of the chimney, re-tiling the roof, re-roofing the Railway Platform Room, replacing skylights and clearing the garden. Having a full-time job and a crazy family life meant that every spare moment was spent on perfecting our ideas for the cottage whilst trying to save its originality.
Two years later, in spring 2021, we present you with the newest ‘old’ holiday venue in Bridgnorth – an eclectic mix of art and industrial engineering. Achieved with countless hours of blood, sweat and tears. We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our neighbours for putting up with all the inconveniences of our renovation. And to each and every person that has helped and supported us through this journey, it has been greatly appreciated!
As you step into the cottage you may well feel like Alice in Wonderland. With a beautiful two-toned ceiling rosette and subtly decorated cupboards and doors created by Antony. Our own ‘Alice in Wonderland’ themed accessories make this a delightful escape from the reality of everyday. Two guests can sleep on the refurbished 1940’s sofa bed. Its exceptional quality astonished our upholsterer. We’re not going to give away all of the surprises here though! Take a look at the photos and see what else you can discover.
As crazy as it sounds, ‘indoor outdoor’ is the best description of our breakfast/dining room. As you move towards the rear of the ground floor you will find yourself in the cottage style galley kitchen. This quirky space offers you an electric hob, fridge, Belfast sink and the modern convenience of a dishwasher. As you are standing in front of the sink you will see a beautiful view of Bridgnorth as seen by Mr Dracup himself in December 1992.
Just past the kitchen is our breakfast room, which was inspired by the world renowned Severn Valley Railway, with Bridgnorth Station literally across the road. Needless to say all the fittings here are handcrafted with reclaimed timber. A station clock, daylight coming through the new skylight, travel posters along with Antony’s architectural wall décor, give you the feeling of being outside. You can have your meal and a drink at the Great Western Railway Platform 3 before you travel…
Back in time… to our Knights’ Cavern. This is the most famous and (for most people) the most impressive part of Dracup’s Cottage. Within the history of Bridgnorth, caves are relatively common, and many of them were used as dwellings. Our street is situated on the side of the Castle Hill and a few of the neighbouring properties also feature caves. So what makes our cave so unique? What used to be a storage space in a back garden inspired a great artistic mind.
Antony hand carved this cave. The sandstone was utilised to make the bricks, from which he built the pillars. It is hard to imagine how much time and hard work it took to create this additional living space, but as soon as you are surrounded by the arches and pillars, it’s like you have travelled back in time. It was only natural to maintain the cave’s medieval atmosphere and enhance it with chandeliers, antique church sconces and chairs fit for knights fresh from battle. Take a seat and soak in the ambience of the past. And while you’re there, keep an eye out for the cavern’s friendly stone residents.
Head up the staircase and turn right (past the unusual emergency exit), and you will find the Art Room. Featuring a 360 degree mural of Bridgnorth and its surrounding areas, created by Antony Dracup. Our only input into this room was a new carpet, new ceiling lamp and a fresh coat of varnish to protect the artwork. Simply enter the room, sit in the centrally positioned swivel chair and enjoy everything the mural has to offer.
In our tranquil Hobbit’s lair you can rest up and relax with a wonderful night’s sleep. Antony Dracup sound-proofed the cottage by adding an extra wall and we have created a calm, peaceful space where you can connect with nature. All the bedroom furniture came straight from a Hobbit’s house, we added a hybrid mattress and hotel quality bedding to ensure a restful sleep. And when you’re to start a new day with a refreshing shower, head down the stairs, turn right and look for the glow of the Boiler Room…
The original blue bathroom (with roll top bath), although very charming, did not seem very practical for a holiday cottage, so we decided that a walk-in shower was needed. Whichever way we looked at it, simply swapping the bath for a shower unit wasn’t a viable option. So, we took a leaf out of Antony’s book and his unique way of creating solutions, until eventually, a vision emerged. The new bathroom is full of industrial lights, pipes and working gauges. It owes its name to a water tank (top) installed on one of the walls which images a working boiler from the early 20th century. Functional, industrial and (to us) beautiful, the new bathroom brings another twist to our bespoke cottage.