ST 5678 NW,
Henbury (South West side),
Blaise Castle House and attached wall
(Formerly Listed as: HENBURY ROAD (West side) Blaise Castle House (City Museum))
House, now museum. 1795-9. By William Paty. For JS Harford.
Extended 1831-2 by CR Cockerell for J Harford Junior.
Limestone ashlar and render with a slate roof. Double-depth
plan around a central hall. Neoclassical style. 2 storeys;
5-window range. 1:3:1 fenestration with a pedimented and
slightly projecting centre.
A central semicircular Ionic portico on a low platform, banded
square-cut rustication to the ground floor, first-floor plat
band, modillion cornice and balustrade. An exedra behind the
portico has 2 niches and a swag frieze with bucrania, a
half-glazed door with a fine fanlight; 6/6-pane sashes with
thick bars, with moulded architraves below sunken panels on
the first floor.
Garden front remodelled c1832, a central ground-floor arcade
with French windows, altered to match those of the Ionic
tetrastyle portico to the right, added by Cockerell as an
To left of front a lower 2-storey service wing, extended by
Cockerell, of L-shape plan with front left wing; facade of
1831-2 is rendered with rusticated ground floor beneath a plat
band, moulded cornice and balustrade; 3/3-pane sashes in
INTERIOR: a complete Neoclassical decorative scheme by
Cockerell, with statuary collected by Harford Jnr. on his 1832
Italian tour. Large Portland-flagged hall with square columns
and medallions; wide, central open-well stair with moulded
stone steps and cast-iron balusters, with panels from the
Parthenon and a niche with a Michelangelo cast; plaster panels
and cornices to the walls and ceilings, marble and plaster
fireplaces, with a cast-iron basket in the Dining Room; the
Library has fluted Corinthian columns; the Exhibition Room has
scagliola distyle-in-antis Corinthian columns, wainscotting,
and an oval lantern with a plaster surround; the first-floor
stair well has balustraded arches; mahogany 6-panel doors; a
dogleg stair in the service wing has stone treads and
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: an attached rubble wall enclosing the
yard to the east end, ramped up to 2 segmental-arched openings
with Pennant dressings.
HISTORICAL NOTE: the house is set in a landscape planned c1796
by Humphry Repton, John Nash's partner at the time, whose Red
Book is preserved in the House, and Nash may through Repton
have had an influence on the house.
(Gomme, A., Jenner, M. and Little, B.,: Bristol, An Architectural
History: Bristol: 1979-: 264; The Buildings of England:
Pevsner, N.,: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 468;
Temple, N.,: John Nash and the Village Picturesque: Gloucester:
Listing NGR: ST5619978725