Bucks landmark Dinton Folly features in first episode of new series of Grand Designs

Dinton Castle, also known as the Dinton Folly, is the subject of the first episode of a new series of Grand Designs which aired on Channel Four on Wednesday September 19.

Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 12:27 pm
Updated Friday, 21st September 2018, 4:13 pm
The Fernandez family with Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud

The series presented by Kevin McCloud follows ambitious self-building projects across Britain and for the first edition of the 18th series the focus was on one of Aylesbury Vale's most recognisable buildings - Dinton Castle.

The folly is currently owned by Jaime and Mimi Fernandez, who moved into the building in February 2018, two years after buying the property for £100,000.

The couple met in Madrid, Spain, and moved to England in 2014.

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Jaime and Mimi outside the folly with their sons George and Lucas - photo by Andrew Crowley

They previously lived in a four bedroom house in the East Midlands which they converted from a baptist hall into a property.

Jaime, who is an architect, and Mimi, then took on another ambitious challenge, converting the Grade II listed building just outside the main village of Dinton into a home for them and their two children, George, aged three and Lucas, aged one.

They decided they wanted a record of the process and applied to be featured on Grand Designs.

Speaking to the Herald after the show Jaime said: "The programme was better than we expected.

"We really enjoyed watching it and it was an accurate portrayal of the experiences we went through with the building project."

Mimi, 35, became aware of the building as she drove past it on commutes from Long Crendon to Luton airport, where they would go to fly to work in Spain as a teacher.

Jaime said: "Just before Christmas in 2014, she took me and the in-laws to see it.

"I fell in love with the building straight away.

"It was not for sale at the time but we got hold of the owners and when it was up for sale made an offer and purchased it for £100,000."

The couple finally moved in earlier this year and Jaime said: "We have settled in really well.

"The children love the space outside to play and run around.

"Dinton is a very nice area but we haven't had the chance to get really involved with the community."

Jaime added that having the film crew in was 'at times, a stressful experience'.