Description of Historic Place
Carwarden is a one-and-a-half storey wood frame structure that combines Queen Anne Revival style with Vernacular and Craftsman elements. Carwarden stands on the south side of Church Street in Chipmans' Corner, Kings County, with a magnificent northern prospect of the Annapolis Valley dykelands from the verandah. There is also a large barn on the property. The buildings and property are included in the provincial designation.
Carwarden is valued because its 1910 design by the noted Nova Scotian architect, Leslie Fairn, represents an interesting transitional phase in his career, demonstrating general Queen Anne Revival style attributes, specific Craftsman style details, and the obvious influence of the traditional architecture of the Annapolis Valley.
In 1910, Josiah Sherlocke Warrington Arthur Haigh Lyne-Evans engaged Leslie Fairn, then a local architect in Kings County, to design Carwarden. The construction of the house started that year and was finished in 1911. A barn and tenement house were also built on the property, but the latter was destroyed by fire in 1912.
Lyne-Evans was born in Haycock Parish, Lancashire, England and came to Nova Scotia around 1906, after leaving the army. He was a Second Lieutenant with the 17th Lancers. Around the time he came to Nova Scotia he married Florence Caroline. It is not sure whether they married in Britain or Canada, as there is no record of their marriage here. It is, however, almost certain that either Lyne-Evans or his wife came into money that paid for Carwarden, for it proved to be an expensive undertaking. Lyne-Evans paid $10,000 for 100 acres of farmland and another fourteen acres of dykeland.
Lyne-Evans decided to become a gentleman farmer in Kings County. Apparently though his money proved insufficient for this choice of lifestyle because in 1912, Lyne-Evans sold a half interest in the property for $1.00 to Stephen Henry Morris of HMCS Niobe, stationed in Halifax. In the arrangement, the Lyne-Evanses kept Carwarden.
In 1912, Lyne-Evans was also commissioned as an officer in the Royal Canadian Regiment, then stationed at the Halifax Citadel. He boarded at the Citadel's barracks until the outbreak of the First World War, when he was sent to France. By 1915 he commanded the 23rd Infantry Battalion and was wounded at the Second Battle of Ypres. He later suffered from shell shock and in 1917 he had to take sick leave because of a recurrence of trench fever. In 1919 he returned to Nova Scotia and two years later transferred to the reserves.
In 1915 Lyne-Evans gave power of attorney to J. Fraser Winslow and Carwarden was sold that same year to S.H. Morris. It then changed hands many times until it was bought by the present owners around 1967.
Carwarden is a large one-and-a-half storey wood frame structure with cross gable roof profiles. The house was desinged by architect Leslie Fairn at the end of his Queen Anne Revival phase, evident in the overall scale and details such as the bell cast in the end gables. The building form and relative lack of applied decoration suggest his transformation into the late nineteenth century Vernacular in Nova Scotia, an influence underscored by the front entrance design. The interior of Carwarden combines the earlier Queen Anne Revival and the more contemporary Craftsman style. Typical of the former, the building plan incorporates a conservatory and separate servants' dining room. As well, the large central hall has a staircase along one wall. The Craftsman style predominates the interior detailing with the heavy beams exposed in the principal rooms and with the liberal use of heavy stained wall panelling.
Carwarden represents a transitional phase in the architect's career, with some general Queen Anne Revival attributes, specific Craftsman details and an obvious influence of the traditional architecture of the region.
Source: Provincial Heritage Program property files, no. 194, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS.
Exterior character-defining elements that relate to the Queen Anne Revival style with Vernacular style elements of Carwarden include:
- its location on a hill overlooking the dykelands;
- one-and-a-half storey wood frame structure;
- cross gable roof profiles;
- verandah across the entire front elevation;
- projecting bays at the ground floor level;
- hipped dormers;
- bell cast in the end gables;
- large, wood frame barn.
Interior character-defining elements that relate to the Queen Anne Revival style with Craftsman style elements of Carwarden include:
- a conservatory and separate servant's dining room;
- large central hall, with a staircase rising along one wall;
- heavy beams exposed in the principal rooms;
- liberal use of dark stained wall panelling;
- naturalistic image of the fireplaces and the stain glass designs.