Blithewold's Site History

           The Gardner House (1840's-1894)                                  Blithewold I (1896-1906)                                 Blithewold II (1908-present)

Previous Page

The following text is excerpted from the introduction of the BLITHEWOLD SITE HISTORY prepared by the MP consultants.


This site history was prepared as part of the Master Plan for Blithewold to document the physical evolution of the site, to identify character-defining features and to provide a platform for discussion of the significance of the site and its components. Communication of the site’s significance, in turn, will form the foundation for preservation and redevelopment recommendations in the Master Plan.

Given the complexity of the buildings, landscape and collections, and the vast wealth of documentary material available, it was impossible to address all of their aspects within the context of this project. The primary focus has been on summarizing the history of the land and the buildings, and communicating this information in a way most useful for master planning. More emphasis has been given to the physical features and how decisions were made to build or alter them, than to the social and intellectual development of the site.

The primary source materials for this project were the written and graphic materials located in the Archives at Blithewold. There are many additional sources of information, which may add depth to the understanding of various aspects of the site; as individual areas are restored and/or re-interpreted, these investigations should take place.


    From Our Blog

  • Blithewold Birds: The Familiar Faces of Year-round Residents (Nov 06, '15)
    Blithewold’s grounds are known for its spectacular plant specimens of many different shapes, colors, and varieties. Predictably, as flora and fauna often come hand and hand, Blithewold is home to hundreds of birds during all seasons in the East Bay. The days have begun to shorten and the temperatures are dipping. By now, Blithewold has […]
  • The Pardees (Oct 27, '15)
    The name Pardee is derived from the French oath par Dieu which was Anglicised to Parde, Pardy, Pardie, and ultimately to Pardieu and Pardee. Around 1530 these families were living in the Normandy region of France. Religious persecution drove the families across the Channel to the south of England, and in the 1580s John Pardee […]
  • Cranborne Manor, Dorset, England (Sep 30, '15)
    Blithewold Mansion was built in 1907 on the site of an earlier house which burned in the summer of 1906.  The new house was designed in an English Country Manor style. It has often been said that the west façade of Blithewold is a copy of an English Country Manor in Dorset, England, and there […]
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail
List icon Sign up for Our E-Newsletter
Email Newsletters you can trust