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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

The mini village has its own green complete with village pump

The mini village has its own green complete with village pump

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.

The chimneys

The amazing chimneys of Blaise Hamlet

Possibly the most memorable feature of the place is its imposing chimneys, which are much larger in proportion to the buildings and are different for every cottage. Mr Nash considered the chimneys to be a great feature in the cottages.