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Rose Blanche Lighthouse Registered Heritage Structure

Rose Blanche Lighthouse, Rose Blanche, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Description of Historic Place

The Rose Blanche Lighthouse is a large granite building with a mid-pitched roof located in Rose Blanche, Newfoundland. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Rose Blanche Lighthouse was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2002 because of its architectural, cultural, and environmental values.

The Rose Blanche Lighthouse is very significant architecturally due to the fact that it is one of the only remaining granite lighthouses in Newfoundland. The granite from which this lighthouse is constructed was gathered from a quarry located just below the site of the lighthouse. The building was likely designed by Newfoundland Board of Works Inspector of Lighthouses and Public Buildings J.T. Neville, with D & T Stevenson - lighthouse engineers from Edinburgh, Scotland - advising, designing and supplying the original lighting apparatus. The structure was built between 1871-1873 by contractors Smith and Haw(e). John A. Roberts, an Englishman, was appointed keeper of Rose Blanche Lighthouse and it was operated for the first time on January 1, 1874. The original light was a 4th order dioptric lit from sunset to sunrise at a height of 95 feet above sea level. It could be seen for 13 miles in clear weather. The light on display now, a gift from the Canadian Coast Guard, is a 6th order Fresnel lens and is believed to be one of only 27 in existence.

Culturally, the Rose Blanche lighthouse is important because is symbolizes the way of life for mariners and settlers on the Southwest Coast of Newfoundland. In the late 19th century, this lighthouse played a crucial role in the safety and survival of many since the most common occupation among men at the time centered around the sea. Positioned atop a rocky cliff on the edge of the ocean, the Rose Blanche lighthouse serves as a constant reminder to both the residents of Rose Blanche and visiting tourists of the hardships endured by Newfoundland fisherman before confederation.

The location of this lighthouse, with respect to the surrounding environment, is also of great value. Situated in such a manner that nothing impedes its view from either direction, the lighthouse can be easily seen from both the water and land. In its natural setting, the lighthouse and its surroundings are a great example of an ideal Newfoundland setting for a lighthouse.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Rose Blanche - Rose Blanche Lighthouse - FPT 1616”

Character Defining Elements

All original features which relate to the age and vernacular design of the lighthouse and residence including:
- Granite stone construction
- Stone foundation
- Multi-paned wooden windows
- Mid-pitched gable roof
- Slate roof
- Wooden entrance way
- Form and function of light tower
- Light source in light tower
- All interior features that reflect the age and usage of the building including stone staircase and wooden interior work.

Location and History

Community Rose Blanche
Municipality Town of Rose Blanche-Harbour Le Cou
Significant 1871 - 1873
J.T. Neville, D & T Stevenson
Smith and Haw(e)
Style 19th Century Vernacular
Building Plan Rectangular Short Façade
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