The Old School Coffee House, Church Lane, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 1BA

Property information

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Status: Sale Agreed
Price: Confidential Agreement
Tenure: Leasehold


This property was formerly The Blue Coat Girls School, Barnstaple. This was the first elementary School in the Borough and was built in 1659 for “20 poor children” by Alice Horwood, whose husband had begun to build the adjoining Alms houses at the time of his death, and Alice completed The Alms houses and built the school.

It was always used as a Girls School and the first school Mistress was appointed in 1660 and was a Miss Margaret Underdine. She lived upstairs and pupils were taught downstairs. The original coat and hat pegs can still be seen.

The girls were admitted at the age of 7 years and stayed until they were 14. They wore white caps and tippets in the summer and capes and straw hats in the Winter. They were taught reading, sewing and knitting as they had to make the shirts and stockings for the boys of the Blue Coat Boys school. for some reason they were not taught to write.

The Girls School was amalgamated with the Boys School, then in North Walk (and now demolished ) in 1842



Barnstaple is North Devon’s Commercial & administrative Center, being a popular and successful market town. Location is excellent for a variety of businesses wishing to be in the heart of the busy town centre. The town offices a good trading location and with a resident population of approaching 30,000, complimented further by trade from a wide hinterland increasing the catchment area to circa 120,000, enhanced further by its popularity with tourists throughout the year.

The region is easily accessible via the A361 (North Devon Link Road) which gives direct access to the M5 motorway at Junction 27 (Tiverton), where there is also an Intercity rail link (Tiverton Parkway) and airports at Exeter, Plymouth & Bristol.

The property is within 50 metres of the High Street, accessed via a cobbled street.


Established by Elwyn & Elizabeth Wilkey over 40 years ago this is one of Barnstaple’s best loved catering businesses. Most living in the area will have dined here at some point with “home cooked food like Mother used to make” being it’s signature feature. The Wilkey’s have now decided to retire and enjoy someone else doing the cooking !

Over the years the business has traded during the daytime and evening although in recent years the operation has scaled back to daytime hours only. The business de-regulated from VAT to assist the owners taking things a little easier. Naturally new owners will choose the trading style, opening hours, staff compliment etc. that best suits themselves. The business is Licensed.

The premises provides net internal floor space of over 700 square feet (66m2) over ground & first floor levels with a Kitchen facility on each & WC on the first floor. Clearly the property could be used for alternative purposes to catering, such as retail, offices, consulting rooms etc. (subject to any required planning change of use requirements)


The Old School Coffee is available to rent (new lease) or purchase freehold with the trade inventory if it is required.


The property is Listed Grade II


Ground Floor

Heavy, studded oak door with latch handle opening on to ENTRANCE HALLWAY.

Dining Room 1 : 17′ 8” x 15′ 5” Covers 22-24

Kitchen: 132 sq. ft. (12.3m2) Equipment includes Lincat plate warmer;2 x commercial microwave ovens; upright refrigerator; Belling pie cabinet; Panasonic Turbo fan oven, Bosch dishwasher; working/prep surfaces

First Floor

Dining Room 2 : 16′ 10” x 11′ 2” Covers 20

Kitchen: 128 sq. ft. (11.9m2)  Equipment includes stainless steel prep tables, Hygena double oven; 2 x commercial microwave ovens, electric hob; Silex machine; potato rumbler .

Customer WC leading off.


£125,000 freehold (to include inventory)

Alternatively the premises is available to rent by way of a NEW LEASE , (term to be agreed), annual rent £7,950 . Ingoing premium £6,500 for inventory of furniture, furnishings & equipment.



Accomodation Comprises

Imperial Metric Sq Ft
GF Dining 17' 8'' x 15' 5'' 5.41 x 4.73 271 25.1
GF Kitchen 132 12.3
FF Dining 16' 10 x 11' 2'' 5.2 x 3.4 188 17.4
FF Kitchen 128 11.9

Business rates

Rateable value:   £3,650
Rates payable for 2020/21:   £1,774 (approx)

Small business rates relief will apply and thus potentially NO BUSINESS RATES will be payable.


Available on new lease terms or freehold sale


For an appointment to view please contact:

Dean Warmington
Tel: 01271 378731
Mobile: 07971830881

Property reference number

Reference: UW860

Important notice

These particulars are for guidance only. They are prepared and issued in good faith and are intended to give a fair description of the property but do not constitute part of an offer or contract.

Any description of information given should not be relied upon as a statement of representation of fact or that the property or its services are in good condition. Neither Underwood Warmington (nor its Joint Agents) not any of their employees has any authority to make or give any representation or warranty whatsoever in relation to the property.

The photographs show only certain parts and aspect of the property at the time they were taken. Any areas, measurements or distances given are approximate only.

Any reference to alterations to, or use of, any part of the property is not a statement that any necessary planning, Building Regulations or other consent has been obtained. These matters must be verified by an intending tenant.