Links and documents
1914/01/01 to 1915/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Admiralty House Museum and Archives is a one storey, wooden gable roofed building with an additional one-storey wooden building once used for wireless communication. Also located on the property is a piece of the original radio tower and foundation blocks used to support the towers. The designation is confined to the property.
The Admiralty House Museum and Archives has been designated a municipal heritage structure because of its historical, architectural and environmental values.
The Admiralty House Museum and Archives, formerly known as the H.M. Wireless Station, is historically significant due to its associations with the British Admiralty, its involvement in the Florizel Disaster of 1918, and the evolution of wireless communication both Newfoundland and beyond.
In 1914 the British Admiralty proposed the building of the wireless telegraphy station at Mount Pearl in efforts to improve its war time intelligence gathering and weather reporting capabilities. This building was one of 13 wireless stations built throughout the world by the British Admiralty during the First World War. The Admiralty designated H.M. Wireless Station at Mount Pearl as its North Atlantic Intelligence Centre. Members of the Marconi Company were recruited in to the British Navy and sent to work in the wireless station under the command of Officer Lieutenant G.L.J. Wolley. In comparison to other wireless stations in Newfoundland during that time, the H.M. Wireless station was among the most powerful, employing state-of-the-art equipment that allowed transmission and reception of signals over 1000 miles away. Following the conclusion of World War One, the H.M. Wireless station was used for the transmission and collection of information regarding shipping and the weather. In 1918, the station played an important role in the Florizel Disaster when it received and relayed the only S.O.S. signal from the ship after it had run aground off Newfoundland’s south-eastern shore. In 1939, the H.M. Wireless station was again utilized for communications, only this time it was spear-headed by the Commission Government of Newfoundland who broadcasted the Voice of Newfoundland (VONF) station out of the west end of the wireless station. Currently, the building is still being utilized for radio communication in addition to being the location for Mount Pearl’s museum and archives.
The H.M. Wireless Station is architecturally significant due to its style of construction. When the British Admiralty proposed the construction of the thirteen wireless buildings they opted to use prefabricated buildings, giving the Admiralty control over the style and shape of the building. This style of building also allowed for rapid construction of the project. Original features still remaining include the original roof trusses and chimneys.
The Admiralty House Museum and Archives is environmentally significant because of its strategic placement within the city of Mount Pearl. Due to its usage as a wireless communication site during the First World War, it was necessary that the H.M. Wireless Station be placed in an area that was good for wireless communication but at the same time safe from incoming fire from enemy ships.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, unnumbered file – Mount Pearl – Admiralty House Museum and Archives
All original features which relate to the age and style of the building including:
- Low pitched gable roof with original trusses
- Original chimneys
- Prefabricate construction style
- Size, shape and location of windows excluding those in modernized entranceway
- Size, dimensions and location of museum
- Original features of the buidling related to its use as a telegraphy station
Elements relating to environment including:
- Location of the wireless communication building relative to the location of the museum
- Remnants of wireless tower and concrete base
- Location within the city of Mount Pearl
Newfoundland and Labrador
City of Mount Pearl
City of Mount Pearl Act
City of Mount Pearl Heritage Building, Structure or Land
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Military and Defence
Function - Category and Type
- Military Support
Architect / Designer
Marconi Wireless and Telegraphy Company, Chelmsford, England for the Royal Navy
Location of Supporting Documentation
Admiralty House Museum And Archives
23 Old Placentia Road
Mount Pearl, NF
Cross-Reference to Collection