Widely renowned scientist, inventor and engineer, Lord Kelvin visited Madeira in June 1873 in an unscheduled stopover whilst laying a transatlantic cable to Brazil. He met Fanny Blandy, second daugher to Charles Ridpath Blandy, at Quinta de Santa Luzia, where they became close friends. Lord Kelvin taught Fanny the art of flag signalling and upon his return to Madeira on his yacht the Lalla Rookh, in 1874 he eventually proposed to her signalling from his boat “Will you marry me?”. She in turn signalled back from the Quinta “Yes!”.
The Red Jacket
Bought by the family company in 1883, the Red Jacket was originally a clipper (it was the only boat of its type to have sailed more than 400 miles in one day) that was transformed to a coal hulk to supply passing ships. Shipwrecked by a storm in 1885, all the wood, mostly pitch pine, was used in the reconstruction of the Santa Luzia house in 1901. Used mostly as flooring and also in the construction of the staircase, the wood is a significant feature to the house.
Levada system-irrigation canals
The construction of the first documented levada was along the Rua de Levada de Santa Luzia, the road that runs along the top of the property. This dated back to 1492. The levada de Santa Luzia was also the first association to manage the distribution of water rights, established in 1515. Water to irrigate the Quinta still comes along the levada de Santa Luzia and whilst we have modernised our irrigation system the levadas remain intact and in use from time to time.
The “Marx brothers”
Named after the Marx brothers of the comedy show, these four granite carved statues, of unknown origin, were found after a shipwreck near Funchal. The story goes that Elia Monier Vinard, who lived at Quinta de Achada (now jardins do lago) came across the statues and mentioned them to her friends at a tea party, one of whom was Elinor Oldes Blandy, resident at Quinta de Santa Luzia. Elinor took the opportunity to buy them before Elia had a chance and the two ladies not unsurprisingly fell out. That is until Elinor´s son John married Sylvie Monier Vinard, Elia´s daughter, and had 4 children.