In 1688 Captain Samuel Sleigh gave rent charges amounting to £4 4s 0d on condition that the school should be built near a well called St William's Well. In a description of the school-house and garden by Titus Wheatcroft, parish clerk, in 1722, it is observed that 'at every corner of the garden is placed a birch-tree, that the master may not want for the moderate correction of his unruly scholars; and between every birch-tree there is placed a handsome spreading sycamore for them to sit and shade themselves from the violent heat of the sun' (1)
'June 18 1728, I went to Derby, to a trial that Mr Hodgkinson had with Mr James Sleigh, of Highgate, in London, for the £4 a year left by his unckle Cap. Samuel Sleigh of Northidge, in Ashover parish, in his last will and Testament, that if ye inhabitants of Ashover did build a school in ye waste, or common, near to Sr William's Well, then he left the sum of 4 pound a year, to be paid for ever .. (The school was built in ye year 1703 and ever since been supplied or taught by me, being 24 years ..) (2)
Old school, modernised and showing window blocked and sealed to avoid window tax. Medieval window incorporated in fabric. Built by George Hodgkinson of Overton and endowed by Samuel Sleigh. Date stone: 'George Hodgkinson of Overton Hall and Ann his wife designed this school. It was finished by William Hodgkinson his son and Elizabeth his wife. Anno 1703. Udum et molle iutum es, nunc nunc properandus et acri fingendus sine fine rota' (Thou art moist and ductile clay, needing to be taken in hand from this instant and moulded ceaselessly on the swift revolving wheel) (3)
Listed building description: House, formerly school. Dated 1703, but with earlier work, and a comprehensive remodelling in the late C19. Coursed squared gritstone with quoins, ashlar dressings, oversailing eaves and verges, the eaves with plain bargeboards. End and ridge ashlar stacks and a Welsh slated roof. South elevation of 2 storeys and 3 bays, with gablets above first floor window heads to outer bays. Central doorway with chamfered quoined surround, and a massive lintel. Above a C19 door is an upper glazed panel. Flanking windows with plain casements within flush stone frames. Rectangular single-light window above doorway. West gable with blocked 3-light late C16 chamfered mullioned windows with 3 arched heads, and below a bulls-eye window. Rear wing with ground-floor double doors, and first floor plain casements.