The Old School Works
Woburn Lane, Aspley Guise, Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire, MK17 8JJ
- Detached stone built former school
- Four bedrooms; three bathrooms
- Open plan sitting/dining room in excess of 52 ft.
- Mezzanine TV room/snug
- Kitchen/breakfast room and separate utility room
- Self-contained annexe
- Private, secluded gardens
- Gated driveway parking and quadruple garage/carport
A Grade II listed four bedroom former school with a separate annexe, private gardens, gated parking and a quadruple garage/carport on a lane walking distance from amenities in Aspley Guise.
The main house has over 4,600 sq. ft. of versatile accommodation and there is planning permission in place to add an Orangery if desired. There is an open plan sitting/dining room and a contemporary kitchen/breakfast room both of which have doors to a private rear courtyard giving a free flow through these spaces for modern family life and entertaining. Above the sitting/dining room there is a more private mezzanine area which is currently used as a TV room/snug. There are four bedrooms, one currently used as a home office, and three bath or shower rooms. The planning permission includes plans to add a second cloakroom and an en suite shower room in the office/bedroom, which has water supply and pipes already in place. There is also a detached 480 sq. ft. self-contained annexe. The property is in a peaceful rural area on a plot of approximately 0.36 acres with paddock land in front and woodland and open countryside to the rear, but in easy reach of amenities.
History and Heritage
The oldest stone built part of the property was built in 1847 when the philanthropic Vicar John Vaux decided to create a school for the village children and the Church donated the land. A half penny was added to local rates to pay for the school teacher. An estimated 3,200 tonnes of stone were transported to the site by horse and cart, from quarries in Heath and Reach. Between 1895 and 1900 a toilet block and the brick built part of the property was added. The property continued to be a school until 1940 and during the war was used for 213 children, including evacuees to the area from Walthamstow.
After the war the building was used as a factory, initially by a Swiss company making drawing boards and then, in the 1950s and 1960s, as an engineering works. The years as a factory took their toll on the fabric of the building and, when the vendors bought it in 2008, it was in need of some repair. Living initially in just the school teachers house they began a painstaking six year conservation project. Two stonemasons lived on site for over a year meticulously repairing and repointing the stone work, replacing as necessary but retaining the original stones wherever possible. Each of the mullioned windows was removed, restored with new glass, and replaced.
The property has been finished to a high specification including handmade oak doors and windows, marble flooring, under floor heating throughout, a bespoke staircase and a handmade kitchen. Two heat exchangers ensure that warm fresh air is recirculated at all times.
The vendors usually enter the property via a rear hall which has lights which operate automatically after dark, and space for seating. There is access to the cloakroom, and to the utility room which has space for coats and shoes, built-in Shaker style units, an array of built-in cupboards spanning one wall, a Belfast sink, space for appliances, and the Vaillant boiler.
A major feature of the property is the open plan sitting/dining room which measures over 52 ft. long and has a vaulted ceiling and dual aspect mullioned windows to the front and side providing plenty of natural light. The sitting area has a large traditional sandstone fireplace, and bi-fold doors to the side. The dining area has a door to the courtyard garden. A bespoke wood, steel and glass staircase leads to the TV room/snug on a mezzanine above with glazed balustrades on three sides for clear views over the room below. A built-in unit spans the wall and comprises display shelves, a feature fire and a wall mounted TV.
The handmade kitchen is in a contemporary style but uses traditional materials such as oak units and granite work surfaces finished with a shark nose edging. The kitchen is designed with hot, cold and clean zones. The cold zone, in one wall of units, has a Siemens fridge/freezer, a larder fridge and a full height three zone Miele wine fridge with room for 146 bottles. The hot zone is in the other wall of units which has an array of Miele appliances including a coffee machine with warming drawer for cups below, a fan oven, a roasting drawer, a combi steam oven and grill and a second warming drawer. The island opposite this wall incorporates the hob which has a teppanyaki grill, a gas burner and an induction hob with an extractor over. The clean zone has an integrated dishwasher, an oversized sink and units which incorporate the bins and recycling.
The comprehensive range of units include pull out larder cupboards. The large L-shaped island also has a filtered water tap, a pull up power supply which includes USB points, and a breakfast bar to seat three. In addition to the breakfast bar there is also space for a dining table to seat six in the breakfast area. Bi-fold doors connect this room to the courtyard garden.
Principal Bedroom Suite
The master bedroom suite has a dual aspect bedroom which has a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams, and a picture window with views over the courtyard garden and woodland beyond. The en suite has dual aspect windows with shutters. There is a free standing bath, twin washbasins on a shelved unit, and a shower area with twin rainwater shower heads. A door leads to the WC in a separate area. The dressing room has shelving and hanging space and can be accessed by doors from the en suite and the vestibule at the entrance to the suite.
Other Bedrooms and Bathrooms
The three other bedrooms are in the old school teachers section of the property. A separate front door leads into a double height hall with storage cupboards and a glazed door to the rear courtyard. Stairs lead to the first floor bedroom which can also be accessed via the main landing. This bedroom has windows to the front and rear, and an en suite bathroom with a panelled bath, a separate shower cubicle, a WC, a washbasin and a towel radiator. The other two bedrooms are on the ground floor. One has a vaulted ceiling with skylight windows and a window overlooking the front garden. The other has windows to the front and rear and is currently being used as a home office. The shower room includes a walk-in double shower.
The self-contained annexe was formerly the toilet block for the school and was used as offices by the factory. The vendors have again carried out a comprehensive repair and conversion on the building which included raising and replacing the roof to create a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams and solar tubes for additional natural light. Internal partition walls were removed so that it is now one open plan room with an adjoining shower room.
The fitted kitchen is on one side of the front door and has a range of Shaker style painted units, a Belfast sink and appliances which include a Neff double oven with a gas hob, an integrated dishwasher and an integrated washer/dryer. The kitchen and the shower room both have electric underfloor heating. The rest of the space is currently open plan with sitting, dining and bedroom areas but there is space to add a partition to separate the bedroom area if preferred. There are glazed doors to the paved area between the annexe and the main house. A shingle area at the front has space for a table and chairs. The annexe could be used by an elderly relative or for a teenager wanting some independence.
The property is situated on a quiet leafy lane overlooking trees and paddocks to the front and backing onto woodland. There is a reclaimed York stone terrace and a lawn area at the front surrounded by a low brick wall with wrought iron railings. Electric gates open to the driveway which provides off street parking and leads to the detached outbuilding which comprises a double garage and a double carport with light and power connected and room for storage in the roof space above. The rear courtyard is enclosed by brick walls and has split level Indian sandstone paved areas and a raised decked terrace for outside dining and entertaining.
Aspley Guise is a small west Bedfordshire village on the edge of the Greensand Ridge with a small square with a Best Western Hotel, a Thai restaurant and a gastropub. There is also a golf club located between the village and Woburn Sands. The village is about 1 mile from the Bedford Estate woods in a quiet rural location but within easy reach of all necessary amenities. It is only 1.5 miles from Woburn Sands which has a range of shops, banks, restaurants and other commercial facilities and 11 miles from Milton Keynes which has one of Europes largest covered shopping centres as well as a theatre, cinemas, indoor skiing and other attractions. The Georgian village of Woburn and Woburn Abbey with its Safari park are less than 2 miles away and there is a new Center Parcs holiday centre near Ampthill. For commuting the village is less than 2 miles from junction 13 of the M1 and has access to railway stations on the St Pancras line at Flitwick and Harlington or the West Coast line at Leighton Buzzard and Milton Keynes. The village has its own railway service with an hourly shuttle between Bedford and Bletchley.