With large rooms, big windows, period stonework and rustic charm, schoolhouses for sale in Ireland make for perfect modern homes.
It can be difficult to find period properties outside of Ireland's major cities. Historically, architectural investment in the countryside usually went into grand estates, with palatial proportions, fine craftsmanship and numerous rooms ideal for a wealthy landowner as well as their guests and staff. However, these large country homes can be difficult to maintain, drafty and often too big for modern family living without a sizeable investment.
Trying to find a small, well-built period property in the country can be tricky, especially if you're looking for traditional features like neatly pointed stone walls, large windows and well-proportioned rooms. The exception is the village schoolhouse.
Primary education first came to Ireland in 1831, when government grants were introduced to cover the costs of building national schools and the salaries of its teachers. As a result, these Georgian-era buildings are one of the best-built buildings in a village, along with the local church, on whose land they were typically built.
As well as investment in their structure, rooms in the schoolhouse are considerably bigger than typical rural residential homes of the era and they make for comfortable modern homes now. Here's a look at schoolhouses in Mayo, Clare and Limerick, some ready to move in, some in need of a little TLC.
Old Schoolhouse, Mountshannon, Co. Clare
Originally part of a Methodist Church, this quaint little building was used as a Church of Ireland school between 1914 and 1932. In the 2000s it was briefly converted into a one-bedroom, open-plan space.
Connected to the mains with power, water, electric storage heaters and a bathroom, it's also got a large back garden. It could easily be brought back to life as accommodation, studio or gallery space, but the building is listed so any planned work would need to factor this in.
Cashel School, Swinford, Co. Mayo
Built as Cashel national school in 1910, the plaque still visible on an exterior wall, this schoolhouse has been lovingly converted into a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home.
The central rooms are a large communal kitchen/diner and a spacious living room, both of which makes use of the large windows and 13-foot ceilings. Oozing with period charm, this house has timber-clad wainscoting and original floors.
Clash North, Athea, Limerick
Built in 1899 as a national school, this three-bed, two-bathroom home pairs modern amenities with the charm of a period schoolhouse. Tucked into a hillside with beautiful views from a large deck on one side, it makes full use of its high ceilings and large windows.
There is a spacious kitchen/diner, living room and spare bedroom downstairs, and upstairs are two large double bedrooms and a second bathroom.
Featured image: Old Schoolhouse, Mountshannon, Co. Clare
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