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Wolseley Barracks

London, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/10/19

Wolseley Barracks Classified Federal Heritage Building; (CFB London, 1989.)
Exterior photo
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Other Name(s)

Wolseley Barracks
Block A
Bloc A
Wolseley Barracks, Block A
Caserne Wolseley, bloc A

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1886/01/01 to 1888/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/07/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Wolseley Barracks is a distinctive landmark situated within the Canadian Forces Base London. It is a large, substantial, horizontally massed, two-storey brick structure, U shaped and symmetrical in plan, consisting of three wings arranged around an interior courtyard or parade square. The distinguishing features of the composition are the central entry points and the regular openings. The interior courtyard features a porch roof, supported by large wooden brackets, extending along all three elevations between the first and second storey. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Wolseley Barracks is a Classified Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
The Wolseley Barracks is one of the best examples of a structure associated with the theme of the federal government initiatives in the 19th century create a permanent military force within Canada. It was originally constructed to provide quarters for ‘D’ Company, Infantry School Corps. In 1899 British Field Marshal Lord Wolseley was appointed honorary Colonel of the regiment and the Barracks were renamed in his honour. The Royal Canadian Regiment later occupied the building and in 1923 it became the regiment’s headquarters.

Architectural Value:
The Wolseley Barracks is a very good example of a classically inspired Italianate style with simplified detailing used for military architecture. The building’s good functional design, its large drill square and the three wings are its distinguishing characteristics. Its construction of solid materials, its specialized features, and its construction techniques express its good craftmanship.

Environmental Value:
The Wolseley Barracks is a distinctive landmark situated within the Canadian Forces Base London. It has maintained an unchanged relationship to its site, which reinforces the present military character. It is a familiar landmark in the neighbourhood.

Sources:
Shannon Rickets, Wolesley Barracks, A Block, Canadian Forces Base London, London, Ontario. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 89-039.
Wolesley Barracks, A Block, Canadian Forces Base London, London, Ontario. Heritage Character Statement 89-039.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Wolseley Hall should be respected, for example:

Its classically inspired Italianate style with simplified detailing used for military purposes using good quality materials and craftsmanship as evidenced in:

-The U shaped, symmetrically organised design with strong horizontal massing the regular grid of fenestration and central entry points.
The roof covered with slate tiles attached with copper nails.
-The polychrome effect of the buff coloured bricks of the exterior walls contrasting with the windows and doors trimmed with a reddish sandstone.
-The south facade composed in the manner of a domestic terrace with separate
entrances anchored at each end by three-storey, hip roofed pavilions.
-The west facade distinguished by its troop door under a round arched window.
-The less elaborate east facade with its simple row of regularly placed windows marking each storey and all its doorways exiting to the inner courtyard.
-The inner courtyard which is surrounded on three sides by the similar regular,
symmetrical inner wings of the Barracks and further unified by the porch roof
supported by large wooden brackets extending along all three elevations.
-The decorative details including brickwork patterning in the gables of the south wing, fish-scale patterning in the slatework on the tower, iron cresting on the tower and the south pavilions, the stone quoins on the south elevation and the carved stonework on the tower.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Classified Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date

1989/10/19

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type

Current

Defence
Military Support

Historic

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

3693

Status

Published

Related Places

General view

Wolseley Barracks National Historic Site of Canada

Wolseley Barracks National Historic Site of Canada is part of the Canadian Forces Base located within the city of London, Ontario. Also known as Wolseley Hall or ‘A’ Block, this…

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