Alban and Angela set to work, calling in favours from friends and family and using all of the skills Alban had honed as a carpenter. Two years later the the house was in a good state and fit to call home. In 1968 Angela and Alban moved in permanently with their three small children. At this point the houses still had no access to running water and after moving in one of Alban’s first jobs was to dig down at the bottom of the garden and build a well – which still stands today.
In 1980 Alban built a workshop in the garden and began to fashion the features and fittings that give the houses their unique character today. All kinds of native woods were used to build the cabinets, doors, staircases and panelling. Each piece a showcase for Alban’s craftsmanship and creativity, and most adorned with a small mushroom engraving that has become his signature.
He often worked in miniature too, creating two mouse houses – one of which is in the holiday cottage – within in a skirting board and toy cupboard. Glass swans were built into a door and into the beams were carved the arrival and departure dates of a family of swallows that shared the garden in the summer months. Several local artists have also made their mark, supplying stained glass, painting and sculpture.