THREE pieces of local history are up for sale in Dorset as part of the historic Bladen Estate goes under the hammer.

The estate dates back to 1914, when entrepreneur Ernest Debenham bought many thousands of acres in the area around Briantspuddle, Affpuddle, Bere Regis and Milborne St Andrew.

He named the land the Bladen estate, and planned to create a scientific test-bed for agricultural experiments, seeking improved productivity while maintaining self-sufficiency and providing improved living standards for the estate’s workers. The concept of the Bladen Estate was that of The Estate included a dozen individual farms and at its peak provided employment for as many as 600 people. The first group of cottages, of which the Dairy House Affpuddle (Lot 1) is one, were designed by Halsey Ricardo and MacDonald Gill. These cottages set a high standard for the rest of the estate, with generous and symmetrical layout and the sympathetic use of natural materials and local crafts.

By 1929, 40 new cottages had been erected on the estate, with a further eight in course of construction.

The consistency of design, which retained a particular character yet avoided stereotyping, gave Briantspuddle its reputation as a model village, the best example of this being seen in the Bladen Valley.

However, the economic collapse of that year, and the subsequent great depression saw the plans shelved as the money dried up, although several of the ventures survived for many years. Symonds & Sampson of Wimborne are offering for sale by auction 3 lots on behalf of the estate’s trustees:

  • Lot 1 – The Dairy House and Land with river frontage.

A character home requiring modernisation together with a substantial livestock building set in about 12.231acres (4.95 Ha) of pasture and water meadows with river frontage. Guide £550,000.

  • Lot 2 – Stock fenced pasture land of about 6.90 acres (2.792 Ha). Guide £50,000.
  • Lot 3 – Stock fenced pasture land of about 33.489 acres (13.553 Ha). Guide £250,000.

To arrange a viewing contact Symonds & Sampson on 01202 843190.