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Ashbourne Longhouse Registered Heritage Structure

Asbourne Longhouse (Twillingate, NL)

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Description of Historic Place

The Ashbourne Longhouse is a two storey structure with a mid pitch roof. Constructed sometime between the late 1700s and early 1800s, this Georgian inspired home is located on Main Street in Twillingate, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Ashbourne Longhouse has been designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador because of its aesthetic value, historical associations and cultural value.

Aesthetically, the building is of value as it is a good example of Georgian inspired merchant class housing. In addition, the longhouse style of construction is very rare in the province. The physical grandness of the house is tempered by the symmetrical facade lacking in decorative features, which creates a sense of order and simplicity. Its scale was apparently achieved through additions to a much smaller residence. Physical evidence uncovered during restoration revealed another roof under the present one. This roof would have topped a structure measuring 7.62 m X 7.62 m.

The building is historically important as it is one of the oldest surviving private residences in the province. Constructed in the early 1800s, it was owned by a series of individuals who were influential in the economic and political evolution of the province.

William Menchinton, the first owner of the property from 1800-1852, operated a large mercantile establishment in Twillingate and made a great contribution to the local economy and to the development of fisheries in the region.

Edwin Duder Sr., the owner of a large mercantile firm in St. John’s, purchased Menchinton’s premises in Twillingate in 1852. His son Edwin Jr. continued to live there until 1881. Duder's company was very successful and his presence in Twillingate speaks to the community’s significant role in the fishing industry of the time.

William Ashbourne, a prominent merchant in Twillingate, bought the house in 1897. Ashbourne outfitted schooners participating in the Labrador fishery and the seal hunt, as well as exporting fish and seal products, contributing to the economic growth of Twillingate.

William’s son Thomas inherited the house following his father's death in 1922. Thomas played an important role in Newfoundland’s political evolution. A member of the National Convention, following confederation with Canada Thomas went on to represent the Twillingate area on the provincial and federal level. He died in 1984.

The building has cultural value as it is representative of a particular time and place. In a community context it is a physical reminder of the prosperity of businesses involved in the fishery and related industries throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Twillingate - Ashbourne Longhouse - FPT 1314”

Character Defining Elements

All elements that define the building's Georgian design including:
-symmetrical Georgian facade;
-mid pitch roof;
-number of storeys;
-wooden roof shingles;
-narrow clapboard;
-corner boards;
-window size, style, trim and placement;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
-size, style and placement of three chimneys;
-wood post foundation;
-dimensions of building; and
-location of building on the property.

Location and History

Community Twillingate
Municipality Town of Twillingate
Civic Address Main Street
Construction (circa) 1780 - 1820
Style Georgian
Building Plan Rectangular Long Façade