Substantial detached house with gardens, outdoor pool situated in a lovely position at the foot of the South Downs.
Old School House is a fine detached house, situated on a private drive at the foot of Black Cap, in the beautiful countryside of the South Downs National Park. The property was once Hamsey Parish's school, and was built as a single storey building in 1849. In 1959 it was redeveloped as a home, adding two floors in a style sympathetic to the original, using local brick, tiles and flint the dates are recorded on two builders' stones, which can be seen outside the drawing room bay window.
Old School House has fine flint and tile hung elevations under a clay tiled roof, sash windows to most windows and generously proportioned rooms. It offers well-appointed, bright and light accommodation arranged over three floors, and is ideally suited to family life, with three versatile reception rooms, six bedrooms and five bathrooms.
The floorplans give excellent overview of the full extent and layout of the property; the spacious reception hall sets the scene for the house, with wood flooring and an elegant turned staircase. Double doors open to the largest of the reception rooms, the dual aspect drawing room, which has a working fireplace with marble mantelpiece, and French doors to the side terrace; it offers space for a dining table.
The adjoining room is currently used as a less formal reception room for day to day family use; it could be used as a dining room if required. It leads in turn to the kitchen/breakfast room, the conservatory and back to the reception hall, which gives access to the library, which has a bay window framing the views over the swimming pool and garden. Double doors open to the Marston and Langinger conservatory, which has climate control, interior blinds and doors to the rear garden.
The kitchen/breakfast room is well-equipped with a good range bespoke pippy oak wall-hung and undercounter units, complemented by granite worktops and a two oven Aga. It is served by a bootroom, the original main access to the School, which in turn leads to the garden. A cloakroom lies off the entrance hall, completing the ground floor accommodation.
On the first floor, the principal bedroom suite comprises a dual aspect bedroom with balcony, offering spectacular views across the valley towards Hamsey and of the adjoining South Downs. It is served by a separate shower room and dressing room, fitted with an excellent range of bespoke wardrobes.
Lying off the main landing are three further bedrooms (two en suite), a bathroom and a laundry room; at the head of the main staircase is a door to the large balcony over the garaging, which is decked and has space for table and chairs, creating a wonderful spot to sit and enjoy the views over the surrounding countryside. The fifth bedroom is in the northern wing of the house, and can be accessed via a secondary staircase from the kitchen. It is served by a bathroom and could be closed off from the rest of the first floor, for guests or perhaps staff. A further bedroom, which is currently used as a home office, is found on the second floor; a large eaves store completes the accommodation.
Gardens and grounds
Old School House is set back from The Street, accessed via a long private driveway, which belongs to the property and over which two of the neighbouring properties have right of way.
The house enjoys an open aspect, facing farmland and the South Downs; ahead of the house and the attached double garage is a spacious cobbled drive, offering off street parking for around seven cars.
The beautiful gardens are mainly arranged to the south and east of Old School House, and are landscaped into distinct sections, and set behind a tall brick wall offering privacy from the driveway. To the south of the house lies a pretty walled garden, with formal beds surrounding an expanse of lawn; a path leads round to the rear garden, which is accessed from the kitchen and the conservatory. At the far end lies the enclosed kitchen garden with raised beds, greenhouse and a timber shed. Beyond this lies the swimming pool, which is securely fenced from the rest of the garden, with picket fencing to the south and by a wall to the north and east; from the pool terrace a path leads past the side of the house giving access to the pool machinery store and on to a gate to the front of the house.
The house and gardens are flanked by two paddocks, each with access from the driveway; the northern paddock is about an acre. The southern paddock is just over half an acre, and planted as an orchard with an array of fruit trees. The borehole providing the water supply to Old School House and the three cottages is sited in this paddock, together with a shed for the borehole equipment; there is a right of access across this paddock for servicing the borehole.
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Nestled at the foot of the South Downs, this is definitely a house in harmony with its surroundings. An elegant house with so many areas, internally and externally, that one can enjoy peace and tranquility.Jason North