Belle Meade Schoolhouse & Cottage

21 & 36 Belle Meade Lane • Sperryville

$1,200,000 CWR Listing Active
Belle Meade Schoolhouse & Cottage
Front of schoolhouse
Side and back
Side access ramp
Schoolhouse front door
Upstairs hallway
Southeast classroom
Northeast classroom
Southwest classroom
Northwest classroom
View from deck
Event space
Schoolhouse kitchen
Schoolhouse mudroom
View from driveway
Driveway view
Schoolhouse & cottage
Cottage great room
Cottage great room fireplace
Cottage kitchen & great room
Cottage kitchen
Cottage kitchen & view
Cottage dining room
Cottage main floor bedroom
Cottage main floor bedroom
Cottage upstairs bedroom
Cottage upstairs bedroom
Cottage upstairs bedroom
Cottage upstairs bedroom
Cottage upstairs bedroom
Cottage downstairs
Cottage downstairs
Cottage downstairs
Cottage downstairs laundry
Cottage fenced yard
Cottage deck view
Cottage garden & hoophouse
Peak of Old Rag Mountain
Beds 2
Baths 5
Half Baths 2
Acres 7
Sq Ft 7,821

About the Property

Just like Old Rag Mountain, the historic Belle Meade Schoolhouse is an iconic part of the scenic Francis Thornton Valley. Located between the charming village of Sperryville and the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it crossroads of Etlan, this spectacular building has graced the valley for about 110 years. What an incredible opportunity to own a piece of Rappahannock County history.

The schoolhouse was built in 1914 and served as a public school until it was closed in the late 1950s. The Francis Thornton Valley Road (Route 231) was changed and widened over the decades and eventually the schoolhouse was too close to the road. The current owners bought the structure in 1998 and undertook the massive project of building a new foundation in a more suitable spot away from the road, having the structure moved onto the new foundation, and then rebuilding and renovating. In 2004, the beautiful classrooms of the Belle Meade Schoolhouse were once again hosting happy students. After 20 years as Belle Meade School, this historic structure is now ready to begin its next chapter.

The schoolhouse is 5,231 square feet of soaring ceilings, tall windows with stunning views, and bright, airy spaces. The main hallway upstairs has a clerestory cupola that invites in even more light. There are four very large classrooms on the upper level plus two bathrooms and a large trough sink for projects. The original slate chalkboards are still in use and the hardwood floors are stunning. The two classrooms on the west side each have double doors leading out to the extra-large back deck that overlooks the gardens and mountains.

Descend the broad stairway to the lower level and the space opens to a huge room that has seen many school plays, end-of-semester family dinners, and even a wedding reception or two. Tables, seating and linens for 100 guests, and dishes, glasses and flatware for 75 guests can be included with the sale. This room has multiple doors to the outside patios and extra large storage closets.

Just off this large event room is a kitchen with a six-burner Wolf range, a dish sanitizer, and deep, triple sinks making catering a breeze. There are extra-high custom wood cabinets for plenty of storage. Opposite the kitchen is the tile-floored mudroom that leads out to the side patio. Further down the hallway are the girls and boys bathrooms and the laundry.

The exterior of the schoolhouse features the well-preserved original poplar siding, a metal roof, and ramp access from the ample parking area. The mountain views are beautiful in all directions and include the peaks of Old Rag Mountain and Doubletop Mountain. To read more about the building’s fascinating history, see the History document linked below.

The seven acre parcel also includes a charming 2,590 square foot cottage, built in 2010, just down the lane from the schoolhouse. The cottage is currently being used as part of the school, providing classrooms and outdoor play areas for the younger children. As part of the accessibility modifications, the tub was removed from the main floor bathroom and stored, and an access ramp was added to the back deck.

This three-story Cape Cod-style home features easy care Hardie-plank type siding and a standing seam metal roof. There is a wrap-around deck and a lower level patio, perfect for outdoor entertaining or just soaking up the sun and the gorgeous views. The bright and airy great room on the main level has nine foot high ceilings, bamboo floors, a large west-facing picture window, and a four-panel sliding door that opens to the deck. There is a cozy wood burning fireplace and a clever built in desk space. The roomy kitchen adjoins the great room and has gorgeous extra-high cherry cabinets, granite counters and a bar counter. Just off the great room is a large dining room with north and northwest mountain views. The main floor bedroom has two closets, with a convenient stacked washer and dryer in one of them. Rounding out the main floor is a bath in the hallway.

The entire upper floor is a cozy suite with dormer windows that overlook the surrounding fields and mountains, perfect for a window bench or reading nook. The suite includes a full bath with a walk-in shower and a skylight.

The expansive lower level has high ceilings, a glass door, and two sets of four-panel sliding doors leading out to the patio and back yard. One end of the room has a small kitchen area and there is a full bath and a laundry room on this level as well.

Because of the uniqueness of the property, the listing stats include cumulative numbers for both structures. The classrooms are considered bedrooms for reporting purposes and the square footage is the total for both the schoolhouse and the cottage.

This unusual property provides a unique opportunity for a new owner with creativity and vision. Will it remain a school? Will it be completely reinvented? Perhaps the schoolhouse will be modified to become a stunning, one-of-a-kind home. Perhaps the cottage will be an art studio. Or perhaps the schoolhouse will be an event space with a cottage for the manager. There are so many possibilities for how to use this beautiful, historic building and the charming cottage. The school permits do transfer to a new owner. A meeting with the county Zoning Administrator is recommended to discuss other possibilities. What will be written as the next chapter in the Belle Meade Schoolhouse story?

Adjoining Belle Meade Farm is also available. Please click here to view.


  • Built 1914 & 2010
  • Main Floor Bedroom: Yes
  • Basement: Yes
  • HOA: No


Additional Details

MLS VARP2001452
Price $1,200,000
Acres 7
Living Area 7,821
Levels 3
Exterior Concrete Board
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 5 Full, 2 Half
Heat Type Various
Heat Fuel Various
Cool Type Mini-splits
Cool Fuel Electric
Water Well
Hot Water Electric
Sewer Septic
Schools Rappahannock County
Year Renovated 2003
Taxes $6,900

Additional Details