Ollerton School House


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
School House, School Lane, Ollerton, Knutsford, WA16 8SQ


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Statutory Address:
School House, School Lane, Ollerton, Knutsford, WA16 8SQ

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


School-teacher’s house and schoolroom of 1692, with late-C18 additions.

Reasons for Designation

School House, Ollerton, a school-teacher’s house and schoolroom of 1692 with late-C18 additions, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:

*     as a building mostly dating from 1692 and with an early extension of a similar character; *     retaining a significant proportion of its structural fabric and humble features, in both the house and schoolroom.

Historic interest:

*     as an early example nationally of an endowed small school, serving a single village or estate.


The schoolroom and house were built in 1692 by the township in accordance with conditions set out in his will by local landowner Samuel Leigh (d1690). The nearest parish church was many miles away. By building a compliant house for a master or mistress within three years of Leigh’s death, the township was entitled to a legacy of £100, the interest or investment profit from which could be used to pay the teacher for the ‘poorer sort of children within the township of Ollerton…to be taught to read well the Bible and instructed in such catechism as is most for the benefit and advantage of such children in the knowledge of God and principles of religion’. The land was donated by John Egerton of Tatton.

The will specified brick walls set with lime mortar, and internal dimensions of eight yards long by sixteen feet wide, with a height of eleven feet and two floors, both heated, and oak floors and roof. These dimensions appear to roughly match the central bay of the current building, not including the single-storey schoolroom adjoining. The schoolroom fireplace had its own chimney stack against the gable of the house, which also had a stack on the north gable.

An additional bay was added to the north of the house, probably during the late-C18, with a slightly shallower roof and its own gable stack. A single-storey lean-to outshut abuts the rear of the schoolroom and south-west corner of the house and is probably of the same period. A new school was built opposite in 1876, leaving the schoolroom little-used, mainly for storage. When the school closed in 1993, the house remained occupied by the retired headmaster and his wife until her death in 2020. There has been some alteration including two lightweight rear extensions of the C20, and the replacement of windows with timber casements.


School-teacher’s house and schoolroom of 1692, with late-C18 additions.

MATERIALS: red handmade brick, slate roofs, timber windows and doors.

PLAN: a linear three-bay range.

EXTERIOR: not inspected, information from other sources. The building is of vernacular character, with mainly segmental-arched openings to the ground floor. The building faces east and is painted or washed white. The single-storey schoolroom bay stands at the left, with a plank door and a window with flat timber lintel and sill. The door surround is of timber (painted black) with run-out-stop chamfers and has an inscribed date of 1692 between ‘H’ shaped marks. A rendered ridge stack rises to the ridge of the adjacent two-storey bay, where the roof slates lap over it. The central bay is of two storeys with a door at the left and stacked windows to the right, with a ridge stack at the right. The right-hand bay is of two storeys with a slightly higher eaves and shallower roof pitch. It has a single ground-floor window at the left and stacked central windows, and a gable stack to the right. The end of a small single-storey lean-to extension is attached at the right.

The south wall of the schoolroom is gabled and painted or washed white, with the cement-rendered gable of the house set back above. The west wall of the schoolroom is largely obscured by a single-storey lean-to which also laps across the west wall of the house for approximately a metre. All of these walls are of hand-made brick laid in variants of English Garden Wall bond. The lean-to is blind but the house has a first-floor window in both bays, plus a small window at the right. The ground floor is partly obscured by a wooden lean-to at the left, and a greenhouse conservatory. Between these is a ground-floor window in the left bay, while visible through the conservatory are a window and door in the central bay. The north gable is unpainted and blind, but has a pointed arch of projecting brick headers in the likely location of chimney flues. There is a blind lean-to across most of the ground floor.

INTERIOR: not inspected, information from other sources. Elements of the plan-form survive, in particular the rear dog-leg staircase with splat balusters, and much of what was originally the north wall. Surviving features in the schoolroom include a cast-iron fireplace and some lath-and-plaster ceiling, together with its ledged plank door. In the house, chimney breasts and some fireplaces survive together with plank doors with early fittings and hewn ceiling beams. There is a small, stone-flagged cellar below the stairs.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: not inspected, information from other sources. A pump and water trough stand outside the front wall, and a small detached outbuilding, possibly former toilets, stands to the north-west.


Article (date unknown) on Ollerton School in Knutsford Historical Association Journal, including transcription of Samuel Leigh's will by Kath Goodchild


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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