One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, or so the saying goes and there are treasures aplenty to be found in architectural salvage yards for those who know where to look. Reclaimed materials with their wonderful mellow patina of age bring a depth and warmth to any home, whether it’s a feature piece in a modern build, or a full restoration project. Some come at a premium, but others are genuine bargains not to mention being more unique than off the shelf options.
I was lucky to be introduced by, Ted at my builders Terry Harris & Sons to two of the best reclamation yards in North Cornwall.
Eden Reclamation www.edenreclamation.co.uk is located just around the corner from the Eden project in the cul de sac of Carluddon. Don’t be put off by the junkyard appearance, on closer inspection there are wonderful finds here; piles of old roofing slates and slabs of reclaimed Delabole floor slate. The old floor slabs are particularly sought after for their soft colour, hand cut finish and size. They are becoming more and more difficult to source and cost up to £200 a square metre, but Eden is one of the best sources locally.
On my recent visit they had a pile of 200 year old wooden half beams with metal pins at only £80 each, perfect as a fireplace lintel. Neil who runs Eden says he has a lot of demand at present for reclaimed wooden floorboards and a peek into his office shows that they can also be used to great effect as wall panelling.
Another local material in evidence is granite with huge lintel slabs, ideal over windows or doors or as garden steps. Indoors you will find everything from piles of old door locks to sanitary ware, old metal signs and pieces of furniture. On this trip I spotted a charming little Irish pine kitchen dresser, which you could be transformed into something even nicer with a little paint to the base.
Timbertrack Architectural Salvage, Station Yard, St Columb Rd
This is a great place to source granite troughs, bowls and decorations for the garden as well as an extensive and meticulously laid out selection of old washbasins all in excellent condition. Like Eden they sell old roofslates and on this occasion had some nice Delabole slate flooring too.
Stock changes all the time so its very much the luck of the draw, but my top pick at the moment is some beautiful square glass bricks for just £1.75 a piece, which made me wish I had a new shower room to design. Other finds were some interestingly decorated bricks and a stash of lovely weathered granite cobblestones.
If you don’t find what you are looking for then it is always worth asking them to keep an eye out for it. In our throwaway world it’s nice to think that quality items will get the chance to be reused. Of course fashion has a big hand in dictating what is only fit for the skip and what is vintage. The fun is in getting to the latter before everyone else.