Thomas Wickett House
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
This two-and-a-half storey Queen Anne style house with Romanesque details is located on the west side of Ontario Street at the corner of Martha Street, just north of Port Hope's downtown commercial district. This elaborate house is surrounded by mature trees, gardens, and a wrought iron fence, shielding it from the busy traffic of Ontario Street.
The Thomas Wickett House, also known as 'Penstowe', has been recognized for its heritage value by the Municipality of Port Hope By-law #21/85, passed on April 15th, 1985.
Set in a neighbourhood of late 19th and early 20th century residences, Penstowe is a landmark building with its impressive height and complex architecture. The landscape of mature trees, gardens and fencing provide some privacy for this corner lot; however, the Romanesque entrance off Ontario Street is visible to the neighbourhood.
Built circa 1894, Penstowe was the home of Mary Ellen and Thomas Wickett. Thomas, an English immigrant from Cornwall, established a dry goods store with his brother John on Walton Street. He married Mary Ellen in September of 1881 and in the early 1890's they hired George Martel Miller to design their home. Miller was a Port Hope born architect, who practised in Toronto and designed several significant Toronto buildings in the late 19th century, including: the Gladstone Hotel, Parkdale Collegiate and Massey Hall. The Wicketts named their impressive home 'Penstowe' after the area Thomas was originally from in Cornwall.
Penstowe is a unique example of Romantic Eclecticism known as the Queen Anne or Shingle style. The style is noted for its asymmetrical design, use of multiple gables clad with shingles, bay windows and porches, all of which are used effectively on Penstowe. Penstowe also features a unique second storey bell-cast balcony adorned with heavy balusters and columns, as well as a Romanesque entrance on the Ontario Street facade.
Source: Heritage Designation for 98 Ontario Street: Thomas Wickett House (Penstowe), By-law #21/85.
Character defining elements that illustrate the heritage value of Penstowe include the:
- two-and-a-half storey asymmetrical brick exterior with irregular steeply pitched gable roof
- decorative shingles in the gable ends and gabled dormer
- bell-cast second storey balcony adorned with heavy balusters and turned columns
- Romanesque arched main entrance off Ontario Street
- front and rear porches with balusters and turned columns
- fenestration, including flat, segmental, and round topped openings
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
George Martell Miller
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Designation for 98 Ontario Street: Thomas Wickett House (Penstowe), By-law #21/85
Heritage Port Hope Files, Port Hope Town Hall, 56 Queen Street, Port Hope
Ganaraska Archives, Mill Street, Port Hope
Cross-Reference to Collection