Blenheim House, 4 Baird Street, Uitenhage






Post date: 07/08/2012
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History: Originally built in 1815 as a single storeyed residence by the Government Surveyor, Mr. Knoble. It was the first house of any size apart from the Drostdy to be built in Uitenhage and was often spoken of as No. 1 Uitenhage. Mr. Knoble was responsible for the laying out of the town in conjunction with Captain Albertini, the deputy Landdrost of Uitenhage at that tine along with Major Cuyler who was landdrost of the district of Uitenhage from 1806 to 1827.
The upper storey of this beautiful home was added in about 1903 by the father of Mr. John Dolley. Mr. Dolley was the son of the original Mr. John Dolley, born at Witney, in Oxfordshire, and came to this Colony in 1859. He took a keen interest in public matters and became one of the towns first Town Councillors and was elected Mayor in 1888. After a short illness he unfortunately died on 30 May 1889 before completing his term of office. Mr. Gordon Dolley, a grandson, who resided most of his life at Blenheim House, also took a keen interest in public matters, and served the town of his birth for many years as Town Councillor, Mayor for seven years and as a Member of Parliament for Uitenhage for a number of years. It seems fitting that the new owner of this beautiful home should also take a keen interest in public matters and also be a Member of the Provincial Council.
Visual Description: Architecturally Blenheim house was vastly altered in the hands of the Dolley family, since it was converted into a double storeyed house in 1903, with a pair of high gables containing the two dates facing the street. In this respect the house has its Cape Dutch/Baker touch. At the same time a heavily constructed balcony supported by cylindrical masonry pillars was built on three sides. The woodwork of the balcony gives a touch of Art Nouveau to the facade. The stoep below has two pairs of french doors on either side of the central door, with full—length external shutters. At the back are two wings ending in plain gables. The interior is, like the rest of it, handsomely built. There is an ancient servants’ quarters building just behind, to one side, referred to as slave quarters. The street boundary has massive pillars supporting high iron railings beautifully finished off. The gates at the entrance are flanked by these pillars and are on the same style as the railings. The ground is probably 2 — 3 acres, mostly behind, in the centre of a town block.
Site Features:
Construction Date: 1815;1903
Catalogue: Herholdt & Frescura, 1986, No: 002, Significance Category:


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