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Ferryland Head, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/01/13

Exterior Photo; CCG, 1991
Exterior Photo
No Image
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Other Name(s)

Ferryland Head Lighthouse
Phare de Ferryland Head
Tour de phare

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/03/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Tower, located on a remote, rocky site, is a tall, tapered, cast-iron tower. With its cylindrical form painted in red, the Tower features a prominent lantern that has double rows of triangular glass panes. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Tower is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, its architectural, and its environmental value.

Historical Value
The Tower is associated with the development of safe trans-Atlantic navigation, particularly in the development of safe navigation in Newfoundland. The Tower also illustrates the theme of growing industrialization throughout the second half of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth.

Architectural Value
The Tower is a very good example of a standard, prefabricated lighthouse with good cast-iron construction technology. Favoured because of their inexpensive cost, ease of erection, low maintenance requirements and long-term durability, these structures reflect a desire to achieve a design that would withstand the rigours of the Newfoundland coast. The Tower is of particular interest because it was firstly built in brick, which did not stand up well to the rigours of the coast, and later encased in cast iron.

Environmental Value
The Tower reinforces the character of its remote coastal setting and is a landmark for local fishermen and commercial vessels.

Joan Mattie, Six Cast Iron Lighthouses in Newfoundland: Ferryland Head, Double Island, Long Island, East End Long Island, Bull Head, Harbour Point,Federal Heritage Building Review Office Building Report 90-145, 91-031, 91-033, 91-034, 91-035; Lighthouse: Ferryland Head, Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland, Heritage Character Statement, 90-145.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Tower should be respected.

Its standard prefabricated cast-iron design, functional qualities and good construction, for example:
-the massing of the cast-iron tower that consists of a prominent base, cylindrical tapered shaft and elaborate lantern;
-the construction system, that shows a transition from reliance on brick construction to the application of prefabricated cast-iron construction, consisting of curved rectangular iron segments which are bolted together on the outside;
-the lantern with double rows of triangular glass panes, the handrail, and small loops protruding from the lantern cap;
-the colour scheme of red and white.

The manner in which the Tower reinforces the character of its remote coastal setting, and is a local landmark, as evidenced by:
-the overall form, massing and colour scheme of the tower, which is the dominant element in its isolated, but visible siting overlooking the ocean;
-the visual and functional relationship of the tower to the adjacent lightkeeper’s dwelling;
-the high visibility of the tower to passing sea going vessels.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Navigational Aid or Lighthouse

Architect / Designer

British manufacturers were responsible for the design and casting of tower components.



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




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