A former stables block on a picturesque Northamptonshire towpath has been given a second lease of life as a stained glass workshop.
The previously abandoned building on the Grand Union Canal at Stoke Bruerne was last used over 50 years ago to shelter narrow boat horses.
But since the last horse left, it fell into disrepair and became home to graffiti and beer cans.
Now expert craftsman Martin Farrant has taken over the premises as Ark Stained Glass Studio.
Martin’s partner Tracey Kesterton, said: “Much of the past few months has been spent on a lot of lime wash and carpenters’ nails, but finally he has breathed new life into this 19th century stables and both locals and visitors alike seem delighted this much loved building has a use once again.”
Mr Farrant, originally from Devon, makes custom-made glass items and gifts as well as being able to repair works.
He has 25 years of experience in the field and has previously run studios in Devon and North Wales.
Now, having moved to Northamptonshire to be with his partner, he has finally settled at The Old Stables at Stoke Bruerne, where his business is already attracting a number of commissions.
“When we think of stained glass we nearly always think of churches and, beautiful though they are, there are so many more uses than what may seem to be obvious,” Tracey said.
“These could include lampshades, terrariums, chessboards, clocks, mirrors, sun catchers or even stained glass sculptures. The only restriction to what can be created is the limit of our own imaginations.”
The former stables, which has room to moor a boat outside, has also been fitted with seating for use by visitors who need to rest or shelter from the weather.
Martin is also calling on anyone who has old photos of Stoke Bruerne to get in touch with him, as he has set aside a wall of the stables for a display.
The Ark Stained Glass Studio, at Tunnel Mouth in Stoke Bruerne, is open six days a week, closed on Tuesdays, from 11am to 5pm.
Email Martin on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.