Gerry & Ella Plumb

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Gerry and Ella Plumb are escapees. Seven years ago they fled their stressed-out lives in Chorleywood, giving up conventional jobs and monthly salaries, and settled deep in the countryside of West Cornwall. Now, instead of the daily commute, they spend every morning walking their two Scottish deerhounds on a nearby ancient common, from which there are spectacular views of the Atlantic coastline. What they had decided to buy was an old miller’s cottage, together with a watermill, granary and piggery, built around a courtyard and surrounded by four acres of land. Set within a small wooded valley, the property is reached via a bumpy farm lane and feels miles from anywhere, though in fact it’s little more than a stone’s throw from Penzance, the ancient market town that’s the capital of West Cornwall. The house, which is late Georgian but looks older, was in good condition when they moved in – all they did was to build a small kitchen extension and furnish the place with pieces they had accumulated over the years, inherited, made or bought at the local auction rooms. They converted the piggery into Ella’s studio and the granary into Gerry’s, and planted an informal garden. Writer Katherine Sorrell e-mail

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