The British Presence
in Southern Patagonia

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Adapting European traditions to the Patagonian climate ... [click the images to enlarge]

  Río Douglas Anglican mission, Tierra del Fuego
Missionary, Rev. John Williams
photo c1999

The "Stirling House" is long abandoned, but spring daffodils still line the entrance path.

  Private house, Río Gallegos
Jesse Aldridge
photo 2001

This botanic gem draws professional praise, and is the subject of a recent book. /*/

Estancia Punta Alta, Santa Cruz
Manager, Alexander Sutherland
photos c1930

The manager's house (no longer in existence?) had a corrugated metal roof, large windows and a ground-floor gallery, all characteristic of the region.

The grounds were developed as an ornamental garden, after the style of a Scottish stately home. Impressive, indeed, in the midst of a windswept cold pampa.

Estancia Cerro Castillo, Última Esperanza
(formerly) Sociedad Explotadora de Tierra del Fuego
photos 2003

The "big house" (now a hostería) is of solid masonry: certainly quite different from the average estancia building. The visitor can appreciate the generous scale of the facilities, in keeping with the former "showcase" status of this ranch.

The lawn roller, resting in front of the manager's house, is far from home ... the manufacturer was Shanks & Son Ltd., Arbroath, Scotland.


  Estancia Cerro Guido, Última Esperanza
(formerly) Sociedad Explotadora de Tierra del Fuego
photos c1930 (upper) and 2000 (lower)

Sitting high above a broad plain, in an exposed situation, the building is protected by a wind-break of mature poplar-trees. The basic structure seems unchanged after 70 years, but the windows have been replaced.

  Estancia San Gregorio, Strait of Magellan
(formerly) José Menéndez
photos 2003

San Gregorio was the pride of wool-baron José Menéndez. These photos highlight two regional features:

(a) wind-breaks, providing some protection to the house and grounds, not to mention a large measure of privacy.

(b) ornamental decorative wood-work (in this case, a picket-fence).

- o - O - o -

/*/  "Un Jardín en la Patagonia Austral", Gabriel Oliva and others, ISBN 987521-054-4, Río Gallegos, 2002

Photo credits / thanks: (1) Denis Chevallay, (2) Rae Gregory, (3) Jesse Aldridge, Gladys Grace; (4) the author; (5) Jens Beyersdorf; (6) Robert Runyard
Last updated: 11-III-2004