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The Hermitage Registered Heritage Structure

Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1W, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/05/02

Exterior view of front facade of The Hermitage (Topsail, Conception Bay South, NL), 2004.; 2004 Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
The Hermitage, Topsail
View of the Hermitage and its adjoining modern house.  Photo taken 2006.; HFNL/ 2006
The Hermitage, Topsail, CBS
Rear view of the Hermitage with thick greenery concealing the stone exterior.  Note the large chimney for such a small structure. Photo taken 2004.; HFNL/ 2006
The Hermitage, CBS

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/09/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Hermitage is a one and a half storey stone building, constructed in the late 1700s, and is connected to a more recent building. The building is located on 23 Spruce Hill Road, Topsail, Conception Bay South (CBS), NL. The designation is restricted to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Hermitage is designated because of its architectural significance, historical associations and cultural value.

The building has architectural value as it is a rare example of stone craftsmanship in Newfoundland and Labrador. Local oral tradition dates the construction of the Hermitage to the late 1700s. It is believed to be one of the oldest buildings in Conception Bay, and possibly the province, as well as being one of the few remaining stone buildings in the region. Also of note are the purple slate shingles which are present on the western side of the roof.

The building is historically important because of its associations with the Anglican Church in CBS. In the late 1800s it was used as the rectory for the nearby St. John the Evangelist Church. Also of historical note is the changing ownership of the property by several notable Newfoundland community and business leaders. These include J. Frederick Bancroft (Newfoundland Teachers Association co-founder), C. A. Pippy (businessman) and Victor Bennett (Bennett’s Brewery).

The Hermitage has cultural value because of its place in oral tradition. It has been suggested that it was built in the late 1700s to serve as a sub-court of the Courts of Admiralty in Harbour Grace. Local fishermen were said to gather here to settle fishery disputes. According to local tradition, after the building was left empty by the Anglican Church, it was used as a residence by a local hermit, which gave the building its current name.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property designation file M-053-004, CBS - The Hermitage

Character-Defining Elements

All those elements that relate to the age and architectural design of the building, including:
-steep gable roof;
-purple slate roofing shingles;
-exterior stone walls;
-stone foundation;
-number of storeys;
-window size, style, trim and placement;
-brick chimney style and placement;
-dimension, location and orientation of building.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Statute

Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Civic Space

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador 1 Springdale Street St. John's, NL A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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