Game of Thrones' Kit Harington wins plans for £1m home heating refurb

Winter is Coming! Game of Thrones stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie can stay warm after winning permission for new heating in £1m refurb of their 15th century thatched farmhouse

  • Kit Harington and Rose Leslie bought Popples Farm near Stowmarket for £1.75m
  • Couple have been carrying out large refurbishment of 15th century farmhouse
  • Last application to add a dozen radiators and oil tank was approved by planners
  • The pair met on the set of TV series Game of Thrones and married in 2018 

Game of Thrones stars Kit Harington and wife Rose Leslie have won permission for a £1million refurb of their country hideaway’s heating system – and just in time because winter is coming.

The couple have had their plans to update their grade II* listed 15th century thatched farmhouse in Suffolk accepted – including more radiators and a new boiler.

Kit, 33, who became a household name as hero Jon Snow in the icy wastelands in the hit HBO fantasy drama which ran for eight series, met Scottish-born Rose, also 33, in 2012 when she played wildling warrior Ygritte.

The couple paid £1.75 million for seven-bedroomed Popples farm, which has its own moat and is set in eight acres of land near Stowmarket, in 2017.

Game of Thrones stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie have won planning permission for a new heating system in the Grade II listed 15th century farmhouse – just in time for winter

Mid Suffolk council planners have given the go-ahead for £1 million improvements including retrospective permission for previously unauthorised repairs and other works to the timber frame of the house.

They can also install a new boiler, radiators and pipes in the house, plus oil tanks in the garden.

Ironically Jon Snow was famed for saying ‘Winter is Coming’ in the series which finished last year.

A report to the council said: ‘The existing boiler is not fit for purpose and is against current regulations.

The couple paid £1.75 million for seven-bedroomed Popples farm, which has its own moat and is set in eight acres of land near Stowmarket, in 2017

‘This is of greater concern given that it is an important listed building and also the areas of thatch in the event of a failure of the current boiler.’

The tanks in the garden would replace one inside a roof space of a lean-to at the side of the house installed in recent years and before the couple bought the property.

The couple bought the farm on the recommendation of another Suffolk superstar – Ed Sheeran.

The Framlingham-born singer is a friend of Kit’s and persuaded the actor, who grew up in Worcestershire, to relocate to the county.

In a BBC interview earlier this year Kit said: ‘I was looking all over for a place. I looked in many different areas of the country.

‘I was actually looking in Norfolk and then I kept driving through Suffolk and thinking, ‘I really quite like this county’.

Mid Suffolk council planners have given the go-ahead for £1 million improvements including retrospective permission for previously unauthorised repairs and other works to the timber frame of the house

‘So I found my own little spot in the county of Suffolk and I’m now a Suffolk boy. I love it. It is really special to me.’

In Game of Thrones, Jon Snow first met Ygritte when she became his prisoner while the Night’s Watch travel north of the Wall, and their characters were scripted to fall in love.

The actors were previously rumoured to have been searching for a place in Manhattan, but instead settled on the 15th century timber house in East Anglia.

The couple were private about their relationship and did not reveal they were dating until 2016.

Kit said on the Jonathan Ross Show that the two made it official when they began filming in Iceland.

Ironically Jon Snow (played by Kit) was famed for saying ‘Winter is Coming’ in the series which finished last year. Pictured: Kit opposite wife Rose as Ygritte

He said: ‘I fell in love in Iceland. I fell in love with my co-star.’

The famous couple had a design and access statement submitted to the council on their behalf.

It said: ‘Since their purchase, the new owners, Mr and Mrs Harington, have been undertaking internal redecoration and minor repairs as a first phase project.

‘New heating system to be installed in Popples to include a new boiler, radiators and pipes and new oil tanks to be sited in the garden, plus the removal of the existing boiler and oil storage tank from the lean-to.

‘Appropriate repairs to address the previous unauthorised repairs and other works to the timber frame of Popples that will address issues of damp and the previous use of inappropriate materials.’

‘Since their purchase, the new owners, Mr and Mrs Harington, have been undertaking internal redecoration and minor repairs as a first phase project,’ read the application sent on behalf of the couple. Pictured: Popples Farm’s dining room area

But Babergh District Council’s heritage team raised a concern that the works could impact on the sensitivity of the property.

In planning documents, Dr Jonathan Duck, heritage and design officer at the council, said: ‘Despite being large and still relatively obvious, their location is as sensitive as possible.

‘Given the competing constraints of accessibility for filling them on the one hand and the requirement to conceal them from views in order to avoid detrimentally affecting the setting of the farmhouse on the other.

‘In summary, all the work proposed here is sensitive to the significance of the listed building and will therefore accord with the requirements to preserve the building and its setting.’

The actors were previously rumoured to have been searching for a place in Manhattan, but instead settled on the 15th century timber house in East Anglia. Pictured: The outdoor swimming pool area

The planning statement said: ‘This phase of works is to make better use of existing space within the property to bring various utilities up to modern standards and also meet current and future way of living both respecting and being led by the heritage of the property.

‘All of the works have been heritage led and with a view to balancing those requirements with that of facilitating modern living in a building of heritage significance.

‘The works have been carefully considered in order to maximise the use of the existing space in order to achieve a better internal layout of uses.

‘There will be no impact on heritage significance as a result of the proposed internal and external works the subject of this planning and listed building consent application.’ 

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