Belmont House / R. Wilmot Home National Historic Site of Canada
Belmont House / R. Wilmot Home
Maison Belmont / Maison R. Wilmot
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Belmont House / R. Wilmot Home National Historic Site of Canada is a large neoclassical country house built in the early 19th century. It is located on the southwest bank of the Saint John River, about 16 kilometres from the city of Fredericton. The formal recognition consists of the building on its property at the time of recognition.
Belmont House / R. Wilmot Home was designated as a national historic site of Canada in 1975 because:
- this stately home, largely constructed about 1820, reflects the classical taste of the period;
- the house was associated with Robert Duncan Wilmot, a Father of Confederation.
Belmont House / R. Wilmot Home is a good example of the neoclassical style as it was interpreted in Canada between 1820 and 1830. Its façade, whose form is created by the roof’s gable end, is designed to emulate a temple front. Repeated on the rear elevation, the temple front arrangement, symmetry and classical ordering of the façades reflect the strength of neoclassicism in Canadian domestic architecture during this period.
Robert Duncan Wilmot (1809-1891), a Father of Confederation and prominent local, provincial and federal politician and statesman, lived at Belmont House intermittently between his father’s purchase of the property in 1839 and his own death in 1891.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, November 1975.
The key elements that relate to the heritage value of Belmont House / R. Wilmot Home include:
- its neoclassical style, evident in its low-pitched, gable roof, symmetrical façades, prominent pediments, tall chimneys and classical detailing;
- its large scale, consisting of a two-and-a-half-storey, five-bay central block with one-storey, single-bay flanking wings;
- the gable roof on the central block and the surviving original shed roof on the east wing;
- its unusual massing, which places the original front (north) elevation of the side wings flush with that of the central block;
- the full-width pediments surmounting its north and south façades, each trimmed by finely scaled dentil trim and decorated with a small, semi-circular window;
- the three surviving, large brick chimneys;
- the one-storey verandah extending along the south and side elevations to meet the side wings;
- its fenestration, consisting of identically sized small-paned windows arranged in symmetrical rows and simple window trim, with a neat moulding and slip sills;
- its typical 19th-century structural framing, including roughly squared timbers, wide floor boards and hand-split laths under the plaster;
- its exterior cladding, consisting of wood shingle siding;
- surviving original interior finishes and features, including window and door trim in styles typical of the 1830s, six-panel doors, a main stairway with small, square balusters and a delicate, gracefully tapered newel post and wood fireplace surrounds decorated with classically-inspired mouldings;
- the relationship of the house to its setting, overlooking the Saint John River.
Government of Canada
Historic Sites and Monuments Act
National Historic Site of Canada
1839/01/01 to 1891/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Politics and Political Processes
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection