Links and documents
1858/01/01 to 1860/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Robert Tilley House in Elliston, Trinity Bay is a three-storey, white painted, wooden structure with a steeply pitched gable roof. It is located at 11-15 Pier Road, near the water, and served for 50 years as a merchant shop. This municipal heritage designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Robert Tilley House is designated for its historic, architectural and environmental values.
Robert Tilley House was built in 1858 and is one of the oldest standing structures in Elliston. It also has historic value given its association with three historically prominent merchant firms, and particularly the Tilleys, the first merchant planters in Bird Island Cove, the early name of Elliston. They arrived there in the 1850s and established a merchant shop in Tilley House. Robert Tilley operated a highly successful merchant business there until his death in 1872, and his son, Arthur, took over the family business until the 1890s. During this period, the Tilleys had much influence on the activities of Elliston, including politics, infrastructure, the fishery, social life and education. After the Tilleys' business closed, the shop was rented to two Bonavista firms, James Ryan Limited and Phillip Templeman Limited, which were setting up branches in Elliston.
Robert Tilley House is architecturally valuable because it is a good representation of nineteenth century vernacular architecture. A three-storey structure of mortise and tenon construction using heavy woods such as pine and hemlock, it has withstood more than 150 years of weathering and is a testament to quality materials and craftsmanship. It features a typical steeply pitched roof with returned eaves and wooden windows with small raincaps. It is also architecturally valuable for its association with Bonavista builder Allan Ryder. Ryder came from a well-known family of builders and erected a number of other buildings in the region including St. Mary's Anglican Church in Elliston, which was partially paid for by the Tilley family.
Environmentally, the Tilley House is an important landmark in Elliston. Located near the shore of Elliston Cove, the house is an important and highly visible element of Elliston's cultural landscape, and inshore fishermen traditionally used the building as a landmark for finding their fishing grounds.
Source: Town of Elliston Town Council Meeting Minutes of 2007/04/10
All elements that define the building's nineteenth century vernacular design, including:
-use of traditional building materials;
-steep gable roofline;
-mortise and tenon construction;
-types of wood (pine, hemlock);
-raincaps on windows and wide, flat trim;
-traditional style of doors;
-original-style wooden windows, their fenestrations and multipaned appearance; and
-overall dimensions, and its height and massing which make it highly visible from the ocean.
Elements that define the building as a landmark including:
-location in community;
-and visibility from the harbour.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Town of Elliston, PO Box 115, Elliston, NL, A0C 1N0
Cross-Reference to Collection