Founding of estate

Founding of estate

Founding of estate

First published in Nostalgia

THE village of Briantspuddle is hosting a centenary exhibition celebrating the founding of the Bladen Estate and its legacy. It runs until Saturday, August 23 and celebrates the founding of the Bladen Estate, pictured above.

The estate was created by Sir Ernest Debenham of Debenhams stores, to fulfil his vision and advanced ideas on experimental and self-sufficient agriculture.

At its height in the 1920s the estate covered 10,000 acres of central Dorset and among its many technological advances it was bottling long-life milk for the Cunard Line which was shipped as far afield as Rhodesia.

Debenham commissioned Arts and Crafts architects Halsey Ricardo, with lead architect MacDonald Gill in residence, to develop progressive designs of housing for estate workers and industrial buildings for the farming activities.

The buildings were constructed from bricks and innovative cavity-spaced concrete blocks manufactured on-site.

Sir Ernest received his knighthood in recognition of his services to agriculture.

The aim of the exhibition is to highlight this incredible chapter in social history and the wonderful legacy it has left.

The exhibition can be seen in Briantpsuddle Village Hall from 1pm to 4pm on weekdays and 10am to 4pm on weekends. See briantspuddle.info for details.

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