Description of Historic Place
The Lordly House property in Chester, Nova Scotia, consists of three resources; the Lordly House, a large Georgian home built circa 1806; the Old Chester Municipal Office, known as "Maple Cottage" built circa 1879 and the modern bandstand added to the complex in the late 1990s. The Municipal Heritage Designation applies to the buildings and surrounding property.
The Lordly House Museum Complex consists of two major contributing resources, Lordly House and the Old Chester Municipal office, and one minor contributing resource, the bandstand moved to the complex from the Chester Parade Ground in the late 1990s.
The Lordly House was built circa 1806 for Captain MacCurdy, a merchantman captain, by local shipwrights and carpenters it is valued for its age, architecture and historical association with the Lordly family.
Lordly House is a rare example of Georgian architecture within the community and it has remained relatively unchanged since its construction. Its front elevation faces Central Street and boasts a five bay façade consisting of paired 6 over 6 windows, flanking a protruding central entrance with three paned sidelights with a panel bottom and a five pane transom window. The second storey of the front elevation has a three bay façade of 6 over 6 windows with the middle window placed directly over the main entrance and the other two windows placed to maintain the building’s symmetry. Two small dormers present on the third storey were likely added later in the home’s history; however, careful placement of the dormers has maintained the home’s symmetry.
In 1843 Charles Lordly, a local merchant, purchased the home from Captain MacCurdy. The Lordly’s were active members of their community, particularly within the Anglican Church, which served to make their home become a landmark within the community. Their prominence within the community was bolstered by their record of public service, Charles Lordly was the first Municipal Clerk for Chester in 1879, and the position would later be held by his son.
The first Chester Municipal Office was actually located on the Lordly property, a wooden structure with a low front porch. It was constructed in 1879 and it still stands behind the Lordly House. The old Chester Municipal Office is now part of the Lordly House Museum Complex and is valued for its usage as Chester’s first public administration building.
Source: Municipality of the District of Chester Heritage Property Files.
The character-defining elements of the Lordly House that relate to its Georgian architecture include:
- simplified design elements;
- central projecting main entrance with three pane sidelights and a five pane transom window;
- all windows on the original portion of the house have shutters and simple rectangular window hoods;
- symmetrical five bay façade with paired 6 over 6 windows flanking the main entrance;
- symmetrical three bay façade of 6 over 6 windows on the second storey of the front elevation facing Central Street;
- symmetrically paired 6 over 6 windows on the first and second storey on the side elevation facing Regent Street;
- symmetrical three bay façade of 6 over 6 windows on the second storey of the rear elevation;
- symmetrical three bay façade with individual 6 over 6 windows flanking the rear entrance on the first storey;
- symmetrically paired 6 over 6 windows on the second storey on the side elevation perpendicular to Central Street.
Other character-defining exterior elements of the Lordly House include:
- an addition on the side elevation perpendicular to Central Street at the first storey level with a symmetrical four bay façade of 6 over 6 windows;
- modified hipped roof with each slope forming the ridgeline for the flat roof;
- granite stone foundation;
- wooden shingle construction.
The character-defining elements related to the Old Chester Municipal Office include:
- wooden shingle construction;
- gabled roof with the gabled end facing Regent Street;
- 6 over 6 window in the peak of the gable facing Regent Street;
- covered porch with a low roof and an open railing;
- four pane transom window over the main entrance;
- granite stone foundation.
An additional character-defining element of the Lordly House Museum Complex is the presence of the bandstand.