June 6, 2020

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat


A mum bought a quaint cottage for just £59 for her dream escape to the country – and after taking 22 YEARS to fix it up is now worth £450,000.

Jane Beck, 54, bought the cottage when she fell in love with it on a holiday break two decades ago.

She piled her four children into the back of a touring caravan to make the 170-mile move from Berkshire to West Wales.

But her grand designs for the cottage took years to complete – as there was no electricity, no water and even a river running through it.

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

Jane Beck, 54, bought the cottage when she fell in love with it on a holiday break two decades ago, and has spent that time renovating it. Pictured: The cottage, shown recently, is now worth £450,000

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

When Jane first bought the cottage for £59, it was in a completely dilapidated state and even had a river of water running through it

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

Jane Beck, pictured with her dog, has lost count of how much she has spent on her labour-of-love transformation

Jane now lives her dream life running a quilting business from her land and also renting out glamping shepherd huts.

She said: ‘We paid £59 for it in 1997 which everyone thought was far too much locally.

‘It was valued last February at around £450,000 before we landscaped the back garden.’

Jane has lost count of how much she has spent on her labour-of-love transformation – and it wasn’t all plain sailing.

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

Pictured: The living room of Jane’s renovated cottage. She has spent two decades working on the home after she piled her four children into the back of a touring caravan to make the 170-mile move from Berkshire to West Wales in the 90s

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

When she first bought the cottage, there was no electricity, running water or windows, and had holes in the roof

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

The house now boasts a sun terrace, hot tub and a sauna hut in the back garden and Jane’s favourite room is the kitchen

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

The furniture and decor in the house has an told-timey feel to it. Jane puts the length it has taken to renovate the cottage down to her wishes to keep the cottage authentic 

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

She has said that she has always wanted to keep the cottage authentic. Pictured: Mason jars of food can be seen on shelves in the kitchen

She said: ‘There were very dark times at the start. My mettle was tested to its breaking point.

‘The first night was cold. We slept on a mattress on the floor in the front bedroom – but it was magic.

‘Completely unmodernised it was like stepping into the 1930s, no electricity, no water and an outside toilet. On our arrival a river ran from the back to the front and out of the front door.

‘It was dark inside. The garden was very overgrown with yew and laurel obscuring the small windows.’

Jane got to work on renovating the cottage near Tregaron in Ceredigion and still has finishing touches to complete.

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

Pictured: One of the bedrooms in the house. You can still make out the old walls of the cottage, which have been painted

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

Pictured: Another bedroom in the cottage. Jane runs a blanket business, and it appears she has used one of her own creations to cover this old wooden-framed bed

She said: ‘It’s taken 22 years to make Emporium what it is now and it’s still not finished.

The cottage is believed to date back to about 1870 and the age has inspired the interior design.

Jane said: ‘The house was the inspiration. Why buy an old house and create a new one? I always wanted to keep it authentic.

‘I didn’t want to completely lose that romantic ideal and maybe that’s a contributing factor to taking so long?

‘It’s been painted with light and airy colours over the years but I prefer it with deep pigments, creates a bit of theatre; it suits it better.’

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

Left: The rear porch of the cottage has a hot tub, but still manages to keep the old-timey feel of the cottage. Right: Jane runs a quilting business out of a tin shack next to her cottage. Right: Jane runs a quilting business called ‘Ty Zinc’ (pictured)

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

Pictured: A bench sits on the porch of the cottage, surrounded by colourful flowers

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

Cause for celebration: When Jane first bought the cottage for £59, locals questioned if it was even worth that. After the work she has done, it is now worth around £450,000

The house now boasts a sun terrace, hot tub and a sauna hut in the back garden and Jane’s favourite room is the kitchen.

She said: ‘I love the evening light through the front room window. In summer there’s always flowers from the garden there and Binkie, my little dog, loves to sit in the sun and look out the window.’

Jane runs her blankets business in a tin shack in the garden called Ty Zinc – selling her goods all over the world.

She added: ‘I look back on it now and can scarce believe it myself. But we love our home – there’s a lot of us in those old stones.’   

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

Jane, pictured outside the tin shack from which she runs her quilting business – Ty Zinc – from

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

Pictured: Inside the tin shack, on the same land as the cottage, from which Jane runs her quilting business from

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

22 years ago, Jane piled her four children into the back of a touring caravan to make the 170-mile move from Berkshire to West Wales.

Cottage with no electricity that businesswoman bought for £59 is now an idyllic country retreat

Jane said: ‘I look back on it now and can scarce believe it myself. But we love our home – there’s a lot of us in those old stones.’



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