Country houses for sale

A grand Georgian home that — almost unbelievably — was once the local village school

Hard to believe, but this beautiful Georgian home was originally built as a local school in an astonishingly generous charity project.

Think of a local charity effort or initiative you’ve heard in your area, and keep it in your mind. Got one? Great. We’re guessing that it most likely involves donations of old clothes and bric-a-brac, bake sales or sponsored walks, runs or parachute jumps.

All of which are great, and to be applauded — but a couple of centuries ago, things looked a little different: Rolle House, which we’re looking at today, was originally built as a charity school that was gifted to the village of East Tytherley. Today, it’s for sale via the Winchester office of Savills, which quotes a guide price of £4.85m for this pretty, Grade II*-listed house.

Rolle House is a classic early-Georgian house set in almost 27 acres of gardens, parkland, pasture and woodland on the edge of the Test Valley, halfway between the cathedral cities of Salisbury and Winchester. And while it’s now a home, it was originally a school gifted to the village by Sarah Rolle, whose family owned the Manor of Tytherley from 1654 until 1801.

Rolle House, Hampshire.

Recommended videos for you

Rolle House was converted into a private house in the 1920s, since when it has had four owners. Ironically, the house has outlasted the grand, 17th-century manor house that was the home of the Rolles and their successors. As their fortunes waned it fell into disrepair and was demolished in the early 1900s.

Rolle House, Hampshire.

Rolle House, by contrast, looks as good as it ever has — and no doubt better than the days in which it was used as an educational establishment. In recent years, the entire property has been the subject of an extensive scheme of restoration and improvement.

These works have included the addition of a large kitchen/breakfast room, the conversion of a barn to create two cottages, and the construction of a new swimming pool and pool house.

Rolle House, Hampshire.

The main house now offers more than 6,900sq ft of bright and cheerful living space, including a reception hall, five reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast/family room, six bedrooms and six bathrooms.

Rolle House, Hampshire.

The grounds are just as impressive: sweeping lawns, well-kept borders, orchard and mature trees, as well as pastureland, woodland and a walled garden — and as well the aforementioned pool, there’s also a tennis court.

This much space also brings with it a real sense of occasion for visitors: as you approach the house along the main driveway, there is a wonderful view of the main façade. The children who once learned here were lucky indeed, as will the new owners be when they take the keys.

Rolle House, Hampshire.

Rolle House is for sale via Savills at £4.95 million. See more pictures and details.


Best country houses for sale this week

A pair of miniature castles and a wonderful coastal home in the West Country make it in to our look