Wednesday, February 1, 2023

A “magnificently appointed Tudor mansion" - Grand Falls House designated as a Registered Heritage Structure

An iconic historic property in Grand Falls-Windsor has been awarded provincial heritage designation by Heritage NL.  

Perched on a birch-clad hill overlooking the Exploits River, Grand Falls House was built in 1909 by Alfred and Harold Harmsworth as one of the properties built in conjunction with the new paper mill. Following the establishment of the paper mill, Grand Falls became a boomtown, with workers drawn from every bay on the island. 

Grand Falls House, with its outbuildings and mature parkland, was designated as a Registered Heritage Structure by Heritage NL on January 17th, 2023. Designed by British architect Robert Douglas Wells, and built under the supervision of Tom Brown of New Harbour, Trinity Bay, the building has been described as a “magnificently appointed Tudor mansion.” 

One of the oldest original buildings in the town, the house hosted many visiting dignitaries over the years, including the Duke of Connaught (son of Queen Victoria) and Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, founders of the Scouting movement. For a number of years, it was the residence of the mill manager.

Grand Falls House during the residency of Sir Vincent Jones. HM Dawe Photograph Collection.

In 2022, the province formally handed over possession of Grand Falls House and its surrounding property to the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor for heritage-sensitive development.

“Grand Falls House is an important part of our history,” says Dr. Lisa Daly, Chair of Heritage NL. “It is an impressive, unique building, which helps commemorate the century-long impact of the Grand Falls paper mill on Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Heritage NL was established by the provincial government in 1984 to preserve the architectural history and living heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador.  Heritage NL designates buildings and other structures as Registered Heritage Structures and administers a fund on behalf of the province for the conservation of such structures.

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