Illustration of Kelmscott Manor, Oxfordshire.

Some of the most successful housing schemes since the 1980s have been created in historic buildings which commercial developers and banks had advised were beyond redemption. Not only have the houses and apartments proved popular and commercially viable, but they have also brought social benefits to areas that might otherwise have lost much of their distinctiveness. Abandoned mills and factories, redundant hospitals, former military sites and derelict country houses which had been left to rot or consigned to the wreckers’ ball have instead found a useful future as desirable homes.

Time and ...

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