46 bedrooms in 27 acres - for the price of a Balham 3-bed semi

Would you rather buy this incredible renovation project, or a suburban semi-detached house?

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former school for sale

What property would you rather spend £950,000 on: a nondescript semi-detached three-bedder in South London, or an incredible renovation project offering 46 bedrooms over 27 acres - with some incredible period features - and some far more unexpected ones too?

The project is Highmead School, in the fields of Llanybydder in Ceredigion, West Wales. It was built in 1777 as a mansion - complete with an impressive staircase and dramatic mantelpieces. In the main buildings there are high, decorated ceilings - worthy of any imposing manor house of the time.

The staircase

Then in the 1950s it was converted into a boarding school for children with learning difficulties - and a number of buildings were added - including a swimming pool.

The school closed in 1996, and has been left untouched since the children left. There are classrooms still set up and ready for a teacher, the chairs are still stacked neatly in the assembly hall, the goals are laid out across the football pitches, and the library is still laid out with books on the shelves.

Library

The property is being auctioned by Auction House London, with a guide price of £950,000. It goes up for auction on 14 April.

It's the kind of money you would expect to spend on a bog standard semi in south London, or a two-bedroom flat in Notting Hill. But in West Wales it opens up a whole new kind of opportunity.
The auctioneer points out that it's such an unusual building that it needs to be visited to appreciate the scale of the place and the potential it holds.

Jamie Royston, Director of Auction House London told AOL: "It's a hard property to value, because there are no comparable places on the market, but for the number of bedrooms and the size of plot we think this offers excellent value."

Outine of the school

Of course, any buyer will need to decide whether to demolish the 1950s buildings and return the mansion to its former glory - or use the collection of buildings to run a school, hotel, care home, or private hospital - or divide it into flats.

Either way, they will need deep pockets, because the former school has been empty for 20 years, and needs an awful lot of TLC.

Rear of the school

So what do you think? Would you fancy taking it on - or would your rather stick to the suburban semi? Let us know in the comments.

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