The Smoke House
Northumberlands First Off Grid Straw Bale Residential House
A Charcoal burner is someone whose occupation is to manufacture charcoal. Traditionally this is achieved by carbonising wood in a charcoal pile or kiln. As an occupation it has almost died out in developed countries.
Charcoal burning is one of the oldest human crafts. The knowledge gained from this industry still contributes to the solution of energy problems today. Due to its historical and cultural importance, charcoal burning and tar distilling were incorporated in December 2014 into the register of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Germany by the Kultusministerkonferenz.
Kezz & Natta have taught themselves this ancient art & the lifestyle of the charcoal burner, but inevitably with them mixed it with their own style to develop a house that provides all that they need.
The Smoke House was designed & self built by Kezz & Nathalie using timber from the woods around it & straw from the fields surrounding it. It sources its water from a bore hole & rainwater harvesting, deals with its own waste by composting, septic tank & careful recycling, it generates its own power by means of solar panels charging a battery bank, & of course wood provides the heating, cooking & hot water.
The Smoke House sits overlooking the stunning Northumberland coast, surrounded on 3 sides by woodlands & was built on some of the finest soil the area has to offer. This has given Kezz & Nathalie a tremendous location for growing their own fruit & vegetables. They make their own wines & beers from what they have planted or already grown around them. They even make their own soaps & toothpaste.
The Cabin was added last autumn. Made from an old shipping container, placed within the woods overlooking Bamburgh Castle it provides the perfect getaway for friends, family & a limited amount of guests via Airbnb.
Like the house The Cabin is also entirely self sufficient. It has a compost toilet, instant hot shower, huge bespoke double bed, woodland verandah, outdoor cooking & some pretty amazing neighbours in all the wildlife living there.