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Bunkhouse/Cookhouse Registered Heritage Structure

Battle Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2008/11/07

View of side facade. Photo taken 2008.; HFNL 2008
Bunkhouse/Cookhouse, Battle Harbour, Labrador
View of side and main facades with pathway leading to main door.; HFNL 2008
Bunkhouse/Cookhouse, Battle Hr., Labrador
View of rear facade and overlooking Battle Harbour. Photo taken 2008.; HFNL 2008
Bunkhouse/Cookhouse, Battle Hr., Labrador

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/01/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Bunkhouse/Cookhouse is a 1900s, one-and-a-half storey, gabled roof building with a small enclosed porch, situated in Battle Harbour, Labrador. It is connected to the community and the waterfront by means of a boardwalk, and overlooks this historic economic and social centre of the southeastern Labrador coast. This area was first populated in the early 1770s and Battle Harbour achieved National Historic District Status in 1997. The bunkhouse/cookhouse designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Bunkhouse/Cookhouse has been designated a Registered Heritage Structure for its historic and aesthetic values.

The Bunkhouse/Cookhouse is historically valuable because of its associations with the development of the community of Battle Harbour. The mercantile saltfish premises at Battle Harbour were established by the firm of John Slade and Company of Poole, England in the early 1770s. As the community developed, offering shelter, trading posts and commercial opportunities, the local population increased and Battle Harbour eventually became known as the regional capital. In 1871 the Slades sold Battle Harbour to Baine, Johnston and Co. Ltd. who operated the site in much the same way the Slades did until 1955. It was the Baine, Johnston and Co. Ltd. who built the Bunkhouse/Cookhouse for food preparation and service, as well as sleeping quarters for the workers of Baine, Johnston and Co. Ltd. and the local population. In 1955 the premises were sold to Earle Brothers Freighting Services who continued the site’s operation until the decline of the inshore fishery at the start of the 1990s. The Bunkhouse/Cookhouse was used by the men who worked with Baine, Johnston and Co. and Earle Brothers, as well as the locals and any fisherman who might be in the area and looking for a place to have a cup of tea (mug up).

The Bunkhouse/Cookhouse is aesthetically valuable because it is a good example of vernacular, outport utilitarian architecture. Built of wood the building is one-and-a-half storeys; the lower level used for food preparation, and the upper half-storey used for a sleeping loft. Gable end chimneys top the ridge of the steep gable roof, while small, wooden, multi-paned windows are scantily adorned with wide, flat mouldings and wide sills. Simple plank doors further emphasize the utilitarian purpose of this building. This property was restored after 1997, following Battle Harbour's designation as a National Historic District, and it stands as a testament to the Labrador fishery.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, Minutes #62.

Character-Defining Elements

All those elements of vernacular, outport utilitarian architecture, including:
-wood construction;
-gable-end chimneys;
-steep pitch gable roof with wood shingles;
-multi-paned windows, including 3/6 and 2/2;
-wide, flat mouldings surrounding windows and doors;
-wide sills on windows;
-corner boards;
-narrow wood clapboard;
-plank doors;
-enclosed porch with shed roof;
-one-and-one-half storey construction;
-general massing, dimensions and location;
-orientation towards the harbour;
-and situated in a cluster of other related buildings.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Statute

Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn

Architect / Designer



Baine, Johnston and Co. Ltd.

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1 Springdale Street, P.O. Box 5171, St. John's, NL, A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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