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Nine rustic cottages around a green
A delightful hamlet of nine picturesque cottages laid out around an open green. The hamlet, which is four miles north of the city centre, was built in 1811 to accommodate retired staff from Blaise Castle estate in Henbury.
Designed by John Nash each cottage is unique, this style was later widely copied. The hamlet was one of the first examples of a planned community and there is a stone sundial and water pump on the green which commemorates its construction. The cottages are lived in and therefore entry to the public is to the village green only.
An inspiring project
Blaise Hamlet has always attracted interest from architects and has inspired projects such as Selworthy Green and Hampstead Garden Suburb. John Summerson, in his book Spirit of the Age (1975), called it 'a more humane, as well as a more picturesque version of the usual bleak row of almshouses which some landowners provided for their pensioners.'
The design would seem very basic to us today, with just a sitting room and a kitchen, with pantry and scullery, and an outside lavatory, but they would have been attractive homes to the elderly servants. You'll notice that the cottage porches face away from each other - they were designed to give the tenants privacy and stop them gossiping.
Although no longer surrounded by acres of peaceful countryside, the feeling of tranquility and seclusion still remains.
We're running a drawing and painting day here on Sunday 25 of August, 10am-2pm. Visit the events page for Leigh Woods for more details and to buy a ticket.