The Little School on Croobyar Road was built by the Warden family in 1880. The Warden’s were the original landowners around Croobyar and Woodstock Roads in the mid 1800s, with Croobyar estate as it was then known stretching for 2560 acres.
David Warden was well known as a local public benefactor who looked to the welfare of his tenants. The Croobyar School was originally built to educate the children of the farm workers in the surrounding area and in 1881 it had 54 pupils.
You can still see the original family heritage listed home Airlie House sitting high on the hill to the south as you drive back towards town, and the historic Warden family graveyard and its centuries old pine trees lie on land next to the Old Schoolhouse property.
The photo above shows the School building and the Schoolmaster’s cottage, which we now know as the Old Schoolhouse Milton.
We unearthed some of the propertys history on an ABC Open page, local resident Anthony Austin, has shared some of these incredible images and more of the Schools history in a beautiful video “Anthony’s School Admission Book: 1885” that is well worth watching!
The School itself was closed during the second world war and demolished in1947 with the sandstone bricks and materials reused in newer buildings in Milton. You can still see the footings of the school building on the edge of the original asphalt playground that fronted the school building and now serves as the parking area
After the school was closed, the schoolmaster’s residence was rented by a local family who finally purchased the building however by the 1960’s the schoolmaster’s residence had become very dilapidatedwhich was a concern for historically minded people in the district.
In 1967 the dwelling and surrounding two acres were again sold and the new owners rebuilt the failing front and back walls on the original foundations and added verandahs and an extension, though the School House was unable to be completely preserved, care was taken to save as much of the original features as possible including some of the fireplaces and much of the interior structure.
A second ‘cottage’ we call the Stables (seen below) was transported here by the first owner in the early 1970’s as his work room and though not original to this land also holds some history of the area having been the laundry from the first Milton hospital which was established in 1908 and moved to a new site in 1967
Jenny has worked hard to turn the Old Schoolhouse property into a place where people feel welcomed and comfortable. As well as maintaining the grounds and sharing the history of the Schoolhouse she has also added her own touch to a home that seems to have been having additions, extensions and renovations for most of its life.
The Old Schoolhouse retains all of its authentic charms and some added new ones, with a second story master suite and an extended living dining area at the rear of the building. During the recent renovations some discoveries were made including beautiful old brickwork underneath the old kitchen fireplace which has been lovingly restored and now leads you into the original front sitting room and bedroom.