Architect and Biker Elspeth Beard Transformed A 100 Year Old Water Tower into Her Home - The Interior is Amazing!

Elspeth Beard quite a remarkable person not only for her achievements as an architect but for the way she lives her life with passion and drive. Before making this incredible 100-year-old water tower into a home, she travelled the world on her motorcycle making her the first English woman to ride around the world on a motorbike. She first learned to ride a motorcycle at the age of only 16 on Salisbury Plain. Then, after three years of architectural training in 1982, she hopped on her BMW R60/6 motorcycle for the journey of a lifetime. She added some large panniers to the bike and filled them with her items and then started out her trip in New York City after shipping her bike from the United Kingdom. From NYC she went biking around in Canada and then in Los Angeles and Mexico. Then she shipped her motorcycle off once again to Sydney, Australia. She worked as an architect for several months before riding around Australia. Not even an accident stopped her for long before she was back on her bike again and travelling to Singapore. She then went to Thailand, Pakistan, and Turkey arriving back in the United Kingdom in 1984. At the end of her trip, she had travelled 35,000 miles (56,000 km). She didn't think too much about her experiences and just moved on with her life, but she wrote an autobiography called Lone Rider in 2017 that shares her journey.

Elspeth also now owns her own architectural firm that has her name and one of her most interesting projects happens to be her home. She converted the Munstead Water Tower near Guildford into a very interesting home for herself that has attracted a lot of attention over the years. The water tower was built out of brick to be 130ft high in 1898. It was originally built to store and supply Munstead and neighbouring villages with water and was in use for that purpose for 70 years. By the time Elspeth came to it, it had been out of commission for 20 years, and she bought it at auction in 1989. The incredible tower had six levels with a timber staircase on the outside. On the fifth level, a 30-foot wide steel tank sat with a spiral staircase providing access to it. It was estimated that the tank held up to 40,000 gallons of water.

She wanted to keep as much of the original building as possible, and it looks incredible the way she's redone everything. Now the tower home has 6 floors in total starting with the ground level which has a reception room and one bedroom. Then there are also bedrooms on the second and third floors as well. On each level, there is one large room as well, so one level is the kitchen and one the living room. They created new steel floors and stairs on each floor. The kitchen is on the fourth floor, and then the living room is above it and used to be the room with the water tank in it. The valve and float mechanism that used to be in the tank was also kept in the living room as a memento. For safety, there is an intricate fire alarm system with fire alarms on every single level. It took a very long time for everything to come together, but once it was all done, she was very happy with the results. It was also awarded The Surrey Historic Buildings Trust Award in 1993 along with other awards and special mentions on TV shows and magazines. It was most recently featured on an episode of Ride with Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead where she takes them on a tour and chats about her biking days.

More about this story can be found at: Elspeth Beard Architects

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