This beautifully-remodelled former village school blends historical stonework with fresh, bright interiors. Lydia Stangroom takes a look.
It’s not often that the inside of a home creates such a contrast with its exterior as in the case of The Old School Works, in the Bedfordshire village of Aspley Guise, near Woburn. The house was once the old village school: built in 1847, it existed as a school until 1940 and was used as a shelter for children from the local area during World War Two, after which it became an engineering factory before being exquisitely (if not painstakingly) renovated in 2008.
The six year project transformed this well-used building, steeped in history with period features and original stonework, into a unique and spacious home which is now on the market with Michael Graham for £1,875,000.
The Grade II-listed, four bed, three bathroom home sits in a 0.36 acre rural setting, surrounded by paddocks, woodland and open countryside. The main house is comprised of 4,600 sq ft of adaptable living space with a show-stopping 52 ft open plan living/dining area which is flooded with natural light, emphasised by tall ceilings and restored mullioned stone windows.
A traditional sandstone fireplace in the sitting area contrasts beautifully with the steel and glass showstopper staircase that leads to a snug / TV room on the mezzanine floor.
The kitchen/breakfast room is designed to ensure a natural, balanced flow throughout the downstairs space, perfect for families and entertaining as it opens onto a private rear courtyard and comes with further planning permission for an orangery if desired.
The kitchen is a perfect example of old blending with new, using traditional materials such as oak units and granite surfaces in a contemporary style with a multitude of high-tech appliances hidden behind for a clean finish.
Upstairs in the newer part of the house is the master bedroom, which boasts exposed beams and a vaulted ceiling, with an en-suite bathroom (complete with a free standing bath) and dressing area. The three other bedrooms are located in the old school teachers’ area of the property and can be accessed via a separate front door.
Two are on the ground floor with views out onto the garden and the other is an en-suite on the first floor with windows either end to the room to allow for as much natural light as possible. There’s also a 480 sq ft self-contained annexe, suitable as guest accommodation, a small granny flat or maybe even a home office.
Aspley Guise: What you need to know
Location: Located in West Bedfordshire. 11 miles from Milton Keynes and 2 miles from Junction 13 on the M1.
Atmosphere: An attractive, rural village with a Thai restaurant and gastro pub. 1.5 miles from Woburn Sands which has a range of shops and amenities.
Things to do: Situated perfectly within rural countryside but close to shops and amenities, not least the famous Woburn Safari Park. Golfers are well catered for: the Aspley Guise & Woburn Sands Golf course is close by, while the world-renowned Woburn club is a short drive away. Milton Keynes is also situated nearby, home to one of Europe’s largest indoor covered shopping areas, indoor skiiing and fast rail links to London.
Schools: Aspley Guise has its own primary school, Ofsted-rated as outstanding.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.