Grenfell Cottage is an early twentieth-century English Cottage with a steep gable roof and a central peak. This building has a variety of uncommon decorative elements that make it stand out in the community of Battle Harbour, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
Grenfell Cottage was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2008 for its historic and aesthetic value.
Grenfell Cottage has historic value for its associations with Sir Wilfred Grenfell. Grenfell was a noted medical missionary and philanthropist who came to Newfoundland in 1892 as a part of the National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen to investigate the living conditions associated with the Labrador fishery. The appalling levels of poverty endured by the fishermen and local population shocked him, particularly because there were no medical resources in the area. The following year he returned with a team of two doctors and two nurses. It was the beginning of Grenfell’s lifetime of service to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. With the assistance of the Newfoundland government, he established the first hospital on the Labrador Coast at Battle Harbour. Grenfell Cottage was constructed for the doctors, nurses and hospital staff. The cottage eventually was used by the managers of the Baine, Johnston and Co. Ltd. until it was abandoned when those managers moved to the RCMP detachment.
Grenfell Cottage has aesthetic value as a wonderful example of an English pre-fabricated house kit. Shipped to Battle Harbour partially assembled, this building stands alone in style in the community. A steep gable roof with finials is punctuated by two central peaks on the main and rear facades. A large chimney rises from the center of the roof. Arched, 6/1 wooden windows are set inside rectangular frames and they are set off by narrow and wide mouldings and sills. The wood-shingled roof ends in a wide moulding with a cornice, while the gable ends are ornately decorated with curved bargeboard. A dormer in the central peak is accentuated by a long, three-paned window and curved bargeboard.
Perhaps the most striking feature of Grenfell Cottage is the sunroom, located on the main facade, and through which the main entrance is accessed. The use of a sunroom, or conservatory, along the front facade, though unique to outport architecture at the time, was not unique for early hospital construction. Since this house was associated with medicine and improved well-being the sunroom reflects Grenfell’s attitudes. Exposure to sunshine was thought to have healing qualities. Battle Harbour is located on the coast of Labrador, in the Labrador Sea. The extreme weather often associated with this locality shows another purpose of the sunroom – to glean as much sunshine throughout the year as possible.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Battle Harbour – Grenfell Cottage – FPT 4346”
Character Defining Elements
All those elements which characterize the English Cottage architecture, including:
-narrow wood clapboard;
-arched wooden windows set in rectangular boxes;
-multi-paned wooden windows;
-main facade sunroom;
-finials on roof peaks;
-single peak on main and rear facades;
-steep pitch gable roof sheathed in wooden shingles;
-ornate bargeboard in gables;
-wide and narrow mouldings;
-wide mouldings on eaves with cornice, and
Location and History
Not specified (Labrador)
19700101 - 19700101
Rectangular Long Façade