A grade II listed house on the site of Alexander Pope’s Villa is set to become a new independent school.

Radnor House School will open next September to boys and girls aged between seven and 18 at the historic house on the banks of the River Thames in Twickenham.

Leading the school will be headmaster Robert Cook, who for the past 10 years has run Victoria College, a fee-paying school in Jersey.

The father-of-two, who has 23 years experience as a headteacher, said: “Parents and children have a unique opportunity to experience the vibrancy and energy which comes with a new school. Radnor House will help young people achieve their very best personally and academically.”

Links with nearby St Mary’s University College and the Thames Young Mariners’ Club will be forged to provide top-range facilities and unique extracurricular opportunities for students.

Emil Gigov, partner of Albion Ventures LLP, which is providing financial backing for the school, said: “Richmond and Twickenham is used to the provision of independent education and we believe that Radnor House can add to the diversity of the provision on offer and increase the choice available to parents and students.

“As long term investors we look forward to seeing the creation of a new, thriving school community in the area.”

The picturesque house, in Cross Deep, was built in 1842 by tea merchant Thomas Young on the site believed to have been Pope’s original house.

The 18th century poet is thought to have chosen the site in 1719 to build his Palldian-style riverside mansion and underground grotto, which is open to the public at set times throughout the year.

Previously the home of St James’ Independent School for Senior Boys, the house was put up for sale for £7m in April as staff and students prepared to move to a new site in Ashford in August.

Interest in the building came from the UK and overseas by parties keen to keep the 19th century building as an education centre, as well as using it for residential purposes.

Yvonne Hewett, secretary of the Twickenham Society, said she welcomed the news the house would remain a school but hoped the grotto and its public access would be preserved.

She added: ”It’s an important part of the overall heritage of Twickenham.”

Open days will be held between November 2 and November 4 for parents wishing to learn more about the school.

For more information visit radnorhouse.org.