Description of Historic Place
Scott Manor House is a two storey residential building, with a gambrel roof located in the centre of Bedford, NS, on a predominant hill overlooking the town and the Bedford Basin. Built circa 1772, the house is the oldest in Bedford and is a valued landmark.
Scott Manor House is valued for its association with its first resident, Joseph Scott, and for its unique architectural design, reminiscent of eighteenth century English country Houses.
The house was built circa 1772 for Joseph Scott. Scott and his wife Mary arrived in Halifax in 1749 with approximately 2500 other settlers lead by Edward Cornwallis, the first governor of Nova Scotia. He quickly established himself as a general merchant and opened a store near the Halifax waterfront. Scott was granted a large tract of land near what is today the community of Sackville, where he established a lumber mill. Scott was given numerous public appointments, including justice of the peace, surveyor of lumber, undoubtedly an important post for one who was interested in the timber trade, and in 1759 was elected to the second House of Assembly as one of the first two members from Kings County. In 1767 his brother George Scott died and left Scott sixteen acres of land in Bedford, which bordered Fort Sackville. It was on that land that he built Scott Manor House. Fort Sackville was a British military outpost that contained a blockhouse, barracks, and protected the Pisiquid Road that ran from the mouth of the nearby Sackville River to Windsor.
Following Scott’s death, the house exchanged hands several times. By 1865 the Willow Park Hotel occupied the house. In 1902 it became home to Dr. John Ternan, Fleet Surgeon of the Royal Navy.
The style of Scott Manor House is unique in Nova Scotia. It is a large, full two-storey, wood framed residence with a gambrel roof. At either end of the house are one-and-a-half storey lateral wings with simple roof profiles, which are unique in Nova Scotia and possibly Canada. Large ‘wishbone’ chimneys, resting on large field stone bases, at either end of the main building add to its unique appearance. From the outside it appears that there is a window in the middle of each chimney. However there are two chimneys at each end that join together in a rounded arch to emerge through the roof as one. The chimneys contain nine flues, and the kitchen still contains the original fireplace and bake oven. The house has a full field stone cellar. A porch runs the full length of the house.
The house is an important landmark in the Bedford area and is presently operated as a museum operated by a society dedicated to its preservation.
Source: Provincial Heritage Property Program, Heritage Property File no. 215
Character-defining elements of the Scott Manor House relate to its unique architecture and include:
- gambrel, cedar shingled, roof;
- form and massing;
- simple, unadorned façade;
- location next to the grounds of the former Fort Sackville;
- two original ‘wishbone’ brick chimneys with field stone bases;
- wooden shingled exterior;
- second storey six-over-six windows and first storey nine-over-nine windows;
- storey-and-a-half storey lateral wings with simple roof profiles;
- archeological remains of Fort Sackville;
- simple porch;
- historic well to the rear of the house;
- original interior elements including attic floorboards, and nine fireplaces (5 exposed) including original bake ovens in kitchen fireplace;
- historic interior wrought iron elements made from iron salvaged from wrecks in the Bedfor Basin in the 1940s including hand rails, attic door handles and hinges.