Fisgard Lighthouse and Dwelling
Fisgard Lighthouse and Keeper’s Dwelling
Phare et résidence du gardien de Fisgard
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Fisgard Lighthouse and Dwelling at Fort Rodd Hill is a tall, slightly tapering round shaft supporting a multi-facetted lantern which is built into a rectangular two-storey gabled-roofed dwelling. The 56 foot high tower has a projecting lantern platform with brick corbelling below. Built on Fisguard Island the tower and the dwelling are the defining feature of the narrow entrance into Esquimalt Harbour. The tower is the most prominent navigational landmark for vessels passing in the adjacent strait of Juan de Fuca. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Fisgard Lighthouse And Dwelling is a Classified Federal Heritage building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Fisgard Lighthouse and Dwelling is one of the best examples of the establishment of permanent coastal navigational aids along the British Columbia coast. It is also associated with the theme of safe shipping in the Strait of Juan de Fuca during the early developmental stages of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. The tower is the oldest and the first pre-Confederation lighthouse on the west coast.
The Fisgard Lighthouse and Dwelling is an excellent example of an early cylindrical type lighthouse. Although its basic form and massing are typical, it is characterized by clean elegant lines and is finely proportioned. The round and smoothly tapered brick tower has an elegant profile. Gothic Revival influences are seen in the pointed-arch windows and brick corbelling below the lantern platform. Inside the tower, the cast iron stairway is of aesthetic note, partly due to its open geometric pattern. The simple massing and footprint, and the clear delineation of two separate forms reflect the dual functional purpose of the structure. The integrated Keeper’s Dwelling complements the tower and creates a well-scaled design of simply detailed brick construction. Granite is used for the lighttower base and the upper cap supporting the lantern.
The picturesque lighthouse tower and reinforce the maritime coastal setting of Fisgard Island and Esquimalt Harbour. Standing sentinel on the rocky island outcrop at the harbour entrance its tall, white tapered profile dominates the immediate maritime landscape. It is well known to both the local and the greater shipping community.
Joan Mattie, Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites (29 buildings), 603 Fort Rodd Hill Road, Colwood, British Columbia. Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 96-096;Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site and Keeper’s Dwelling, Fisgard Island, Colwood, British Columbia, Heritage Character Statement 96-096.
The character-defining elements of Fisgard Lighthouse and Keepers Dwelling. should be respected.
Its role as an illustration of the establishment of the navigation system and the provision of aid to navigation along the B.C. Coast.
Its standard design and good quality materials and craftsmanship as evidenced in:
-the building’s form and massing which consist of a tall slightly tapered round tower lantern platform, lantern and light with attached two-storey rectangular dwelling;
-the building’s sturdy construction of brick and stucco covered brick;
-the buildings clean lines and subtle ornamentation such as the gothic windows and the corbelling below the lantern platform;
-its colour and picturesque silhouette.
The manner in which the building reinforces the picturesque, maritime coastal setting of the Fisgard Island Light Station and its associated seascape through its dramatic setting.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Classified Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Navigational Aid or Lighthouse
Architect / Designer
Joseph Pemberton and John Wright
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection