Description of Historic Place
The House, also known as Moffatt House, is a stone farmhouse executed in Gothic Revival style, at Silver Spring Farm located in the Greenbelt area of Ottawa. It is set behind an extensive tree canopy that shields it from the main road. The striking appearance of the grand building is created by steep, intersecting, shingled roofs and high-pitched gables. Decorative white painted vergeboards, tall chimneys and finials outline the roofs, and drip mouldings frame the generous windows. The farm is set in a landscape that consists of gardens, lawns, and an orchard protected by an evergreen windbreak and open fields. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The House at Silver Spring Farm is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations and its architectural and environmental values.
The House is associated with the Bearman brothers for whom the House was built in 1867. The brothers were prosperous, second-generation Irish settlers active in politics and local affairs. As an agricultural complex, the property has recently been modified to support a residential and work program for the Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities. This organization leases the house, barns and grounds from the National Capital Commission, the present custodian.
The House is valued for its excellent aesthetic design executed in Gothic Revival style. This style was prolifically employed from 1840 to 1870 in eastern North America. The House exemplifies the essence of this picturesque style. Good functional design is evidenced in decorative elements, such as the recessed porch set back for shelter, and the drip moulding around the windows for proper water drainage. Very good craftsmanship is demonstrated in the beautifully crafted limestone, laid in broken courses that lend an elegant and polished appearance to the house, and in the decorative wood elements such as the white painted vergeboard that accentuates the gables.
The House at Sliver Spring Farm establishes the picturesque character of its rural, farm setting in a Greenbelt area within a larger urban community of increasing density. The House is a familiar building within the community.
Sources: Martha Phemister, Silver Spring Farm, 3502 Richmond Road, Nepean Township, Ontario, Federal Heritage Building Report, 88-183; Silver Spring Farm, 3502 Richmond Road, Nepean, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement, 88-183.
The following character-defining elements of the House should be respected.
Its excellent aesthetic design, good functional design and very good quality craftsmanship and materials, as evidenced in:
- the picturesque composition characteristic of the Gothic Revival style, achieved by irregular massing, steep roofs, high-pitched gables, and related decorative elements such as the vergeboards and finials;
- the decorative labelling, or drip moulding, above the windows, which is also typical of the Gothic Revival style;
- the dressed limestone, which was quarried from the nearby Graham property, and the stonework, which is of consistently high quality and detail throughout.
The manner in which the House establishes the picturesque character of its rural, farm setting and is a neighbourhood landmark, as evidenced by:
- its grand scale Gothic Revival style, materials and decorative details, which dominate the landscaped grounds and harmonizes with the surrounding Greenbelt setting;
- its familiarity as part of Silver Spring Farm and as one of many stately stone houses along Richmond Road.