Converted Stone Schoolhouse on the New Hampshire Coast Makes the Grade

An 1896 converted schoolhouse, believed to have been originally designed by American architect Henry Hobson Richardson, is on the market in Rye, NH, for $1,075,000.

Richardson became known for his Richardsonian Romanesque masterpieces, including the Trinity Church in Boston.

Aside from impressive architecture, the story behind this little stone schoolhouse turned home is equally delightful.

Once serving as one of four neighborhood schools, the East School is said to have been conceived by local aristocrat James Parsons, who also worked as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Parsons spearheaded the construction by rallying the local community to gather beach stones from neighboring Wallis Sands Beach.

In 1934, the schoolhouse was converted into a home, and in 1965 it was purchased by its current owners after being spotted in Profile Magazine.

“When the current owner saw the photo, it reminded her of her childhood town in England, and she told her husband they needed to buy it,” says listing agent Brett Mulvey.

Rye Schoolhouse
The converted schoolhouse at 281 Brackett Road(Mike Barron)

Rye Schoolhouse
The three-bedroom schoolhouse in Rye, NH, which has a blue-themed dining room and printed wallpaper.(Mike Barron)

Rye Schoolhouse
A living space inside the converted schoolhouse has built-ins and a fireplace mantle.(Mike Barron)

It’s not hard to see why the current owners jumped at the chance to own the charming, three-bedroom cottage tucked on a wooded, nearly 2-acre lot.

The original wood floors still bear the marks of student desks.

“It’s one of the only stone structures in Rye,” Mulvey says. “The original plaster domed ceiling still exists, as does the spiral staircase leading up to the turret, which was previously where the school bell rang.”

The lovely locale is just a short stroll or bike ride to the nearest beach and only 10 minutes by car from downtown Portsmouth, NH. Something about the combination of historic charm and prime location makes us think this stone schoolhouse won’t be on the market very long.

“So far we have had buyers reach out from California, Washington state, Iowa, and even Barcelona,” Mulvey says.

Rye Schoolhouse
The spacious kitchen(Mike Barron)

Rye Schoolhouse
Views of the nearby coastline(Mike Barron)

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