'Grand Designs' £4.5m ‘goth house’ built in London graveyard has viewers in awe

Marie Claire Dorking
·5-min read

Watch: ‘Grand Designs’ viewers can’t believe the price of this epic gothic project

A £4.5m ‘Gothic’ house built in the grounds of a Victorian graveyard and featured on Grand Designs is causing quite the buzz on social media.

Fans of the show headed to Twitter to give their views on one of the most unique builds in the show’s history, with some describing the episode as the “best Grand Designs ever”.

The episode followed former army captain Justin Maxwell Stuart, who now runs extreme fishing expeditions, as he realised his vision to do “something really off the beaten track” after purchasing a graveyard site in London.

Stuart’s plan was to convert a neo-Gothic cemetery keeper’s lodge and the derelict public toilets next door into a dramatic, modern home within the cemetery gates.

Kevin McCloud and the property owner Justin Maxwell Stuart. (Channel 4)
Kevin McCloud and the property owner Justin Maxwell Stuart. (Channel 4)

Having forked out £1.8m on the graveyard site, Maxwell Stuart budgeted a further £1.6m for building works, although projections later came back at £4m.

Eventually, he settled on a building contract worth £2.1m, with total costs coming in at a whopping £4.5m.

“In my mind is an enormous amount of fear and terror that I’m heading down a catastrophic financial black hole,” Maxwell Stuart exclaimed at one point during the episode.

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The project was definitely one of the strangest in the show’s history with viewers left amazed by the ‘goth house’ being built in the cemetery, complete with a moat and a chainmail water feature.

Host Kevin McCloud wasn’t totally convinced about the idea of living in a graveyard. “I mean, you’ve got lots of neighbours, but they’re all dead,” he quipped.

The neo-Gothic house also involved a six-metre basement extension built just a metre away from the nearest gravestone.

The plush interior of the gothic house (Channel 4)
The plush interior of the gothic house (Channel 4)
The blue and brown colour scheme continues throughout the living areas. (Channel 4)
The blue and brown colour scheme continues throughout the living areas. (Channel 4)

The unique space made use of a lower floor, adding two bedrooms, a living space and even an underground swimming pool.

“I’ve never built a pool in a cemetery before,” one builder joked “it’s a bit spooky.”

The sleek pool in the basement of the gothic build (Channel 4)
The lavish pool in the basement of the gothic build (Channel 4)
The bathrooms are equally lavish. (Channel 4)
The bathrooms are equally lavish. (Channel 4)

Difficulty finding contractors happy to poke around in a graveyard wasn’t the only difficulty the conversion of the Grade II listed lodge faced, with work also forced to grind to a halt for three months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Despite the hurdles presented by the unique project, in the end, the house came together and looked incredible, if a little bonkers.

The bold hallway makes an instant impression. (Channel 4)
The bold hallway makes an instant impression. (Channel 4)
The building is full of quirky design details (Channel 4)
The building is full of quirky design details (Channel 4)

Viewers were in awe of the ‘goth house’ being built in the cemetery with fans rushing to Twitter to deliver their verdict.

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The unique property was built on the site of a graveyard in London. (Channel 4)
The unique property was built on the site of a graveyard in London. (Channel 4)

Others, however, were left rubbing their eyes at the total expense of the project.

The ‘goth house’ isn’t the only unique home we’ve been fawning over recently.

Back in November we fell in love with a cute little “Hobbit” house made of polystyrene coated with mud and cement, which was up for sale for $220,000 (approximately £166,000).

The sweet one-bedroom home looks as though it could be straight out of the Shire, but is actually located in Marshfield, Vermont, US.

And last September we were amazed by an ordinary looking house, that came complete with a full-sized skate park on the ground floor.

Meanwhile a converted lighthouse perched on the edge of a cliff in Pembrokeshire has recently gone on the market for just under £1million.

Converted into a home with eight bedrooms overlooking the Irish Sea and the dramatic Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, it sits just 15 miles from the Welsh town of Haverfordwest.

Watch: House prices have hit a record high.