Blanch Street 7-9
|Also known as:||Brentwood|
|Address:||7-9 Blanch Street|
|Town or Locality:||Gawler East|
The subject dwelling comprises an imposing single-storey, double-fronted villa of coursed bluestone construction with face red brick quoins and dressings in the late-Victorian style. The hipped double ‘M’ roof is clad with non-original corrugated steel and includes rendered brick chimneys with moulded caps. The elevated symmetrical façade includes a prominent central entrance with arched head, panelled timber door and fanlight flanked by panelled timber-framed half-glazed French doors. Elsewhere window openings include timber-framed double-hung sashes. The façade is screened by an elegant convex profile verandah supported by wrought iron open grille columns. Simple cast iron brackets and frieze, as well as timber balustrade rails, extend between each column. The verandah is reached via a wide flight of slate steps flanked by splayed rendered masonry dwarf walls with arched coping and terminating piers. The verandah includes a cement floor with red brick edging supported by bluestone walling with coursed tuckpointed finish.
The dwelling is set in a generous garden setting over two allotments which is fronted by a low stone wall to the front boundary with brick coping, cast iron gate and privet hedge. Alterations include a rear addition, swimming pool, pool house and terrace to the north of the house. Further outbuildings are located at the northeast corner of the property.
STATEMENT OF HERITAGE VALUE:
Constructed around 1880, the villa at 7-9 Blanch Street, Gawler East demonstrates the subdivision and development of ‘Mahoney’s Paddock’ from the 1870s with large dwellings as an extension to the earlier Gawler East division and settlement of the eastern ridge with generous villas at a time when Gawler commerce and industry was flourishing. The fine and largely intact late-Victorian era villa displays substantial proportions, quality local stonework and brick embellishment, enhanced by an early stone boundary wall to the property frontage and generous garden setting.
BRIEF HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:
Section 4 of the Gawler Special Survey was originally granted to John Reid and Henry Dundas Murray in October 1839. Forty acres of this land, laid out as ‘Gawler East’ and located east of Murray Street and north of Lyndoch Road, were obtained by Doctor David Mahoney and his wife Eliza, nee Reid. Mahoney had arrived in Gawler in the late 1840s and thereafter practiced as Gawler’s second resident doctor. His large landholding, ‘Mahoney’s Paddock’, as it was commonly referred to. By 1860 his substantial residence ‘Yenda’ was completed. The subdivision of this land, part of Section No.4, Hundred of Nuriootpa, appears to have been surveyed and subdivided prior to 1863 but was not offered for sale until March 1873. At this time Edith and Blanch Streets were formed and named for Mahoney’s two daughters, Jane Edith and Blanche Mathilde. Interestingly, all official land records, including certificates of title, rate assessments and mapping erroneously record ‘Blanch’ Street without an ‘e’.
Allotments 342 and 343 were both purchased from the original sale of the subdivision by AJ Woodman and were rated vacant in the 1 875-6 and 1877-8 assessment books. The 1878-9 assessment indicates that both allotments were under individual ownership; 342 was owned by John Ivett and tenanted by Mrs Johanna Palm and 343 (vacant land) was owned by Henry William Ayling. John Ivett also owned adjoining lots 340 and 341. The following year Johanna Palm is listed as the owner and occupier of house and land on allotment 342; the high value suggests a considerably sized dwelling. Lot 343, still vacant, remained in Ayling’s ownership.
By 1885 both allotments had been purchased by Charles Cross, Gawler Chemist and Councillor for Gawler’s North Ward at the time. In 1891 the property was purchased by Alfred Sheard, a successful Gawler draper who had operated from ‘Essex House’ in Murray Street since 1886. Sheard enlarged the dwelling and embellished it with cast iron decoration around 1896/7, further demonstrating the success of his business in Gawler. Alfred was extremely active in the local community carrying out roles as a Gawler Town Councillor and as treasurer, councillor and committee member for numerous clubs, societies and associations. He owned ‘Brentwood’ until 1912.
Please <click here> to view photos of 7-9 Blanch Street.
This report has been prepared by the following people:
• Nancy Cromar (Flightpath Architects)
• Deborah Morgan (Flightpath Architects)
• Kate Paterson (Flightpath Architects)
• Douglas Alexander (Flightpath Architects)
The study team would like to acknowledge the assistance of the following people:
• David Petruzzella (Strategic Planner; Town of Gawler)
• Jacinta Weiss (Cultural Heritage Centre Coordinator; Town of Gawler)
• Jane Strange (Senior Development and Strategic Policy Officer; Town of Gawler)
Gawler History Team Inc. thanks: Flightpath Architects, Ryan Viney and the Town of Gawler for allowing us access to this important document of Gawler History.