Country houses for sale

A Victorian schoolhouse transformed into a magnificent family home near Oxford

This former school in Oxfordshire is light and spacious, full of character and sits within glorious gardens.

The Old School House is an absolute treat of a home, a mid-19th century building expertly converted to a tranquil, light and spacious family home by artist and interior designer Alison Hoblyn and her late husband, David, a talented architect.

This former school in the pretty village of Longworth, 11 miles south-west of Oxford, combines a Victorian chapel built in 1848 and a school building added five years later.

Following Mrs Hoblyn’s reluctant decision to downsize and move closer to her daughter in Somerset, the house is on the market with the Summertown office of Savills at a guide price of £1.25 million.

Having bought the property in 2007, the Hoblyns embarked on a quick-fire programme of improvements designed to introduce space and light throughout the building.

As Mrs Hoblyn explains: ‘The windows in Victorian schools were always sited high up to avoid the children being distracted, so we decided to double their size by extending them almost to the ground.’

The effect was instantaneous and immediately connected the interior with the colourful, south-facing gardens – Mrs Hoblyn’s area of special interest.

With more than 4,000sq ft of living space, including three main reception rooms, a kitchen/breakfast room, four/five bedrooms and three bathrooms, their redesign allows for all or part of the chapel to be used independently, perhaps as a holiday let or a home business.

The Old School House is for sale via Savills – see more details and pictures.