Description of Historic Place
Newlands is a 19th Century Georgian-inspired residence built in an area once known as the Charlottetown Royalty. Originally sited on a substantial property, it is now surrounded by a post-1960 residential development. The designation encompasses the building exterior and parcel; it does not include the building interior.
The heritage value of Newlands lies in its association with the Hon. Joseph Hensley (1824-1884); its overall form, scale, and proportions; and its evocation of early settlement in the area known as Charlottetown Royalty.
Joseph Hensley, lawyer, office holder, politician and judge, emigrated from England with his family at the age of sixteen. The son of a retired naval officer, Hensley's early experience of Prince Edward Island was as a member of Charlottetown's conservative-minded social elite. Despite this upbringing, Hensley did not side with the conservative faction when he entered politics, choosing instead the Reformers of George Coles. Serving as attorney general for a number of years, Hensley would later briefly fill the role of Premier and leader of the government. In 1869, Hensley was appointed assistant judge of the Supreme Court of PEI and vice-chancellor of the Court of Chancery. Hutchinson's Directory of 1864 lists Joseph Hensley, barrister, as living at Newlands on the Malpeque Road(University Avenue), reminding us of a time before the extension of Queen Street on which the house now sits.
The exterior of Newlands retains the overall symmetry, proportion and scale of a Georgian-influenced residence. This simple, classically-inspired architecture remained popular in Charlottetown long after the Georgian era and was the first choice for substantial residences into the 1860s. A first floor addition on the western façade was added at an unknown date.
Likely built in the early 1850s by Joseph Hensley's father Charles, Newlands once sat on a property of approximately 24 acres. It was one of a number of substantial properties located in what was known at the time as the Charlottetown Royalty. The Royalty had been set aside in the 1770s to provide farmland for the early citizens of Charlottetown. In time, a number of families of some wealth and prestige established estates in the Royalty, the properties serving either as their principal residences or as semi-rural retreats. In the 1960s, the area surrounding Newlands was subdivided for residential development. The house remains distinctive, however, not only because of its style, but because of its orientation. Like many of the estate houses of its day, it was built with a Southern front elevation. Because of this it sits sideways to the street, and in contrast to its western-facing neighbours.
Source: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
- Heritage Database Record #1222
Character-defining elements of Newlands include:
-the rectangular plan
-the symmetrical front façade of five bays
-the pitch of the gable roof
-the simple cornices with gable end returns
-the size and style of the sash windows
-the simple corner boards
-the wooden-shingle siding
-the material and form of the western first-floor addition
-the overall Georgian influenced symmetry, proportion, and scale of the building