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Dunluce Registered Heritage Structure

Dunluce, St. John's, NL
Dunluce, St. John's, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Description of Historic Place

Dunluce is a one-and-a-half storey modified Cape-cod style home. It is located on 139 Portugal Cove Road, St. John’s. The designation is confined to the property.

Heritage Value

Dunluce has been designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador because of its architectural historical and environmental values.

Architecturally, Dunluce is significant in the fact that is has been virtually unaltered since the time it was built. Constructed in 1859, this house is quite decorative while maintaining a clean-looking, symmetrical facade, typical of the type of house built for prosperous businessmen in Newfoundland at that time. Pilasters and entablatures trim the door and windows on the first level of the front façade while simple shelves trim the windows on each gable end. One distinctive feature of the front façade are the three five-sided bays (also known as Scottish bays), which are common in Nova Scotia but rarely used in Newfoundland. At the rear of the house there is a large, classical window which was installed to highlight the central staircase on the interior of the building.

Throughout its history, Dunluce has been the home to some well known residents of St. John’s. Originally, this house was built for James A. Whiteford, an Irish watchmaker. After its completion, Whiteford named the house Dunluce after a castle of the same name in County Antrim, Ireland. After passing through a number of hands, the house became the property of G. Rex Renouf in 1948. Renouf, a prominent local lawyer, historian and politician, was well known throughout St. John’s and the surrounding areas.

Equally as important as the house is the land on which it sits. The 2.5 acres of land surrounding the house is covered with many old and beautiful trees adding greatly to the appeal of the house. Many small gardens located around the property have, in the pass, been the subject of poems and location for numerous weddings. Originally located on the outskirts of St. John’s, Dunluce now sits in the center of Town. It has, however, been able to retain its large lot size, a rarity in the city.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “St. John's - Dunluce - FPT 1478”

Character Defining Elements

All original features which relate to the age and Merchant style of the building including:
- Mid-pitched gable roof
- Symmetry of façade including location of window and door openings, chimney placement and finials on front facade
- Three Scottish dormers located on front facade
- Entablatures and pilasters along first level windows and doors
- Sidelights along main entrance
- Original classical window at rear of house
- All original windows and doors
- Narrow wooden clapboard
- Simplicity of exterior decoration
- Green space surrounding house including all mature trees and gardens

Location and History

Community St. John's
Municipality City of St. John's
Civic Address 003 Renouf Place
Construction (circa) 1859 - 1859
Style 19th Century Vernacular
Building Plan Rectangular Long Façade