Conserving Tradition

in House

Since she inherited this great estate from her conservationist father, Hilary Grover Barratt-Brown, Elizabeth has continued the work to restore the property to its past glory. Like her father before, Elizabeth is passionate about preserving the traditional aspects of the estate while installing all modern conveniences for a quality family life.

Pedruxella Gran is not just a beautiful Mallorquin finca, it is also a working farm, with 200 sheep producing lambs, and hundreds of carob and olive trees. A small portion of the olives are used to produce oil in the finca's own original "Tafona", or oil press, using an ancient mill stone and the resident mule. The annual pressing of the olives ends with a festive Pa' amb oli dipped in the newly produced oil.

The road to the property was recently repaved and goes from the main road up three kilometers to the main house on the estate of 248 hectares (620 acres) in the desirable Val de March, standing 300 meters above the valley and offering stunning views across to the Tramuntana range of mountains that contain Mont Tomir, Mallorca's third highest.

Pedruxella's location on the south facing slope benefits from sun throughout the day all year long – a critical advantage in the Mallorquin winters – and yet it is typically about five degrees cooler than in the valley during the hottest months of the summer. The farm is a heaven for lovers of outdoor living like the Barratt-Brown-Deweys offering great opportunities for hiking, hunting, mushroom picking, bird watching and horse riding in addition to solitude, tranquility and seclusion from the outside world. The family takes full advantage of the many novel ways to entertain friends and neighbors with annual sheep-shearing parties, gatherings for olive pressings, and the great hall of the new hunting lodge which is used to host the annual Pedruxella Fiesta.

The main house is an ancient farmhouse, with a Moorish tower dating back to the 13th century.

It comprises approximately 900 square meters and is built around two interior courtyards. It has nine bedrooms, seven bathrooms, two kitchens, a large entrance hall, living room, dining room, and at least three "sitting" rooms attached to other rooms. Nearly every room, including many of the bathrooms, has fireplaces. It has a bodega (wine cellar), a carpenters shop and two large covered outdoor ovens. There is a large attic space and a "matanza" room used traditionally to cure the locally produced hams and sausages. It also has a one bedroom apartment with seperate access for a caretaker, other staff or guests.

Within the last year, Elizabeth and Bosworth have worked painstakingly to install many modern conveniences such as air conditioning, insulation, new wiring, hi-speed internet access and much more while maintaining all the original features of the house. The project has advanced well with the help of Susanne Dickmann and Ron O'Brien from Unicorn Trading Company S.L., located in Llucmajor. Improvements to the property include a completely new electrical system (including three-phase cable from the transformer, all new-wiring, outlets, and circuit panels), solar hot water system, new lighting throughout, radiator heating system, a separate heat and AC system, wall and roof insulation in large sections of the building, and new carpeting throughout. The entire house has been repainted. The stunning and sunfilled main kitchen, along with the laundry, pantry and guest bathroom, has been completely renovated in keeping with the historic building.

The house is surrounded by four outbuildings, including two large, two-storey garages, and two stables containing a total of five stalls. Within the grounds of the property are numerous fruit trees producing apricots, plums, grapes, peaches, pomegranates, persimmons, apples, pears, lemons and oranges. There are several fields which are suitable for additional planting of fruit trees, grapes, alfalfa or for a large green garden. Garden enthusiasts will love the hundreds of rose bushes and flowering shrubs and trees surrounding the main house and pool area.

Further up the mountain from the main house is a very large barn and equipment shed and above that the recently constructed hunting lodge called ‘Atalaya' offering views as far as the bay of Alcudia. The Atalaya completed in 1995, contains a great hall, two bedrooms, a bathroom and kitchen that can be used for guests, entertaining or other purposes. At the top of the farm is a large valley with arable fields and a shepard's hut.

Elizabeth and Bosworth have personally overseen the restoration project and are a tinge sad at the prospect of handing over Pedruxella to new owners who can take advantage of the improvements in the living conditions and enjoy the privileged lifestyle which this great estate offers. But their dedication to their lifelong passion as lobbyists for environmental protection is calling from their homeland.

Text by: Helen Cummins

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Helen Cummins has 1 articles online

Dr. Helen Cummins is the Editor of abcMallorca Magazine a high quality guide to mallorca printed in three languages including informative Articles about Mallorca, up to date Events Guide and a Business Directory.

You can visit the abcMallorca website to read the original article about Conserving tradition or related articles about properties in Mallorca.

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This article was published on 2011/07/11