The original house was bought by John Blandy in 1826. It was two floors high and was really set in what was still very much a rural area. The house was subsequently remodelled in 1901 by my great great grandfather John Burden Blandy. He put in a sweeping staircase, which bizarrely was disproportionate to the rest of the entrance hall, leaving some doors narrower than others (he obviously really liked the staircase). The house grew to four floors, a super silly size (it had a ball room, amongst other things) and there was a bridge that crossed from the main house to the “kitchen house”.
John Burden Blandy obviously did very well for himself because he also bought the land to the north of the house and gardens as well as buying Quinta do Palheiro. He undertook what must have been a mammoth landscaping job reconfiguring the land into larger terraces or poios, where each terrace had its own levada (irrigation canal). He evidently loved his motor car (supposedly one of the first on the island) because he also built the main drive from the main house to the rua de levada de santa luzia, the road along the top of the property which is also the oldest lavada on the island, where it could enter onto the estate easier.
My grandfather then decided to rebuild the main house in 1963, reducing it to what he apparently called a “nice sized country house” he also evidently had a bizarre sense of proportion as anyone will attest when they see the house.
As a place to grow up I feel very fortunate, space, big trees and big parties many celebrated under the big holm oak at the front of the house. Days of playing with the tractor and working weekends with my father in the garden have now moved along to a time where I hope people feel they are welcome to experience this nugget of paradise (at least I think so) in whatever way possible.
The trees of the Quinta are a big part of what makes this place unique. There are many that are over 100 years old, some of which are endemic others have been introduced. As a family we have celebrated weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions underneath them.
They are longstanding friends that have seen each generation pass, and I hope will exist long into the future.