Blanch Street 21-23

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Fast Facts
Address: 21-23 Blanch Street
Town or Locality: Gawler East
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The elevated siting and generous scale of this substantial double-storey Victorian-era villa would have once made it a prominent element in the street, though subsequent land divisions have resulted in it becoming partially obscured from public views. The dwelling is constructed of coursed face sandstone with red brick quoins and dressings and exhibits impressive quality detailing.

The original structure is square in plan, with an addition to the rear of similar size. The symmetrical façade features bold, semi-circular arched-head brick dressings to upper and lower entrance doors and large timber-framed double-hung sash windows with timber shutters. The hipped roof and concave two-level verandah are clad in corrugated iron, with the verandah roof in contrasting stripes. Chimneys with moulded caps are of rendered brick. The verandah, possibly reconstructed, features timber supporting posts which are paired on both levels, defining the central entry doors.

The upper-level balcony is surrounded by a timber balustrade with decorative cast-iron lace balustrade panels, and there is a narrow cast-iron lace frieze to both levels. The slate-edged verandah floor is reached via central steps with flanking rendered masonry dwarf walls. The property is reached via a narrow tree-lined driveway and alterations include rear additions, a single-storey side addition to the south-east corner and a detached garage.


Constructed around 1882, the villa at 23 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 double-storey villa displays substantial proportions, quality local stonework and decorative cast iron embellishment.


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’.

Allotment 339 was purchased from the original subdivision by Eliza Mahoney by Samuel Skewes, Gawler Shoemaker in 1874. In 1875-6 the property comprised land and unfinished cottage. The property, including a house, was transferred to Edward Lane in 1879; it is likely that this was the large house evident today, given the large increase in rateable value. Lane was secretary of the Gawler Institute. William Doudy, Gawler Stockholder held the title from 1880; the rate assessment book of 1882-3 indicates Doudy also owned the adjoining allotment 338 to the north at the time. After passing to his wife and then their sons, the property was sold to Glyn De Villiers Bosisto, Grazier in 1914. The subject parcel, Part 339 was subdivided to form the present battle-axe shape in 1949.

Please <click here> to view photos of 21-23 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.


Blanch Street 23
Blanch Street 23

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