Blaise Hamlet is a hamlet in north west Bristol, England, composed of a complex of small cottages around a green. They were built around 1811 for retired employees of Quaker banker and philanthropist John Scandrett Harford, who owned Blaise Castle House.
In 1810, Mr J. S. Harford a banker and true Quaker, who owned Blaise Estate, had an idea for the first garden suburb in the British Isles, especially for old people. John Nash the famous architect, who had already built the Dairy House, designed the ten fairytale cottages in Hallen Road.
The hamlet was designed by John Nash, master of the Picturesque style. He had worked for Harford on other buildings. Each cottage is unique. His 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.
The cottages are now owned by the National Trust. They are still occupied and not open to the public, but the ensemble may be viewed from the outside. All the cottages, and the sundial on the green (which is accessible to the public), are Grade I listed buildings.
Rose Cottage is now rented out by the National Trust as a holiday cottage.
The name of each cottage is:
- Oak Cottage
- Diamond Cottage
- Double Cottage
- Rose Cottage
- Dial Cottage
- Circular Cottage
- Sweet Briar
- Vine Cottage
The cottages were built for people retired from Mr Harford estate like ex-coachmen, butlers, gardeners and so on. Nash had a personal touch to this cottages, like the way he placed all the cottage doors so that none face the same direction—to stop doorstep gossiping by neighbours, it's said!
The ten cottages (8 detached and 2 semi-detached) sold in 1943 in an action to an artist and poet Mr Donald Hughes at the price of £2,325!! Right after he passed it to National Trust hands. The pump in the middle originally had an obelisk over the spring, but this was replaced by the present shaft and weathercock. The water was so good that visitors would ask for a glass to have a drink from the pump!
The Oak Tree in the entrance is still standing there today.