An Artist and His Cottage

77 Brunswick Street in Stratford and Gerard Brender à Brandis

by Marianne Brandis

When the artist Gerard Brender à Brandis bought the historic little yellow house at 77 Brunswick, in 2005, it was the beginning of a fruitful partnership. Gerard is a well-known wood engraver and creator of limited-edition handmade books, work that involves several traditional arts and crafts and includes using a 1865 printing press; the house dates from 1866 and is one of the last old frame houses in Stratford, Georgian vernacular in style and with a Greek Revival portico that is a landmark on Brunswick Street.

The house was thoroughly and skillfully restored in the 1980s by James Anderson, Stratford’s first archivist, and Gerard has done further maintenance – some of it not very glamorous but all of it historically informed and important. As a result, the building is a beautifully renovated and maintained example of an early stage of domestic building in Stratford, and it has been the setting for an important phase of the artist’s career.

The story of the house and of some of the people who lived in it constitutes a significant strand in the tapestry of Stratford’s history.

Historically Speaking, the newsletter of the Stratford & District Historical Society, is privileged to print the story of 77 Brunswick Street. The history, written by Marianne Brandis, will be printed in its entirety in our next three editions.