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Prescott House

1633 Starr's Point Road, Port Williams, Nova Scotia, B0P, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1983/08/04

Front elevation; N.S. Department of Tranportation and Public Works, 2000
Prescott House, Front Elevation, 2000
Side elevation; N.S. Department of Tranportation and Public Works, 2000
Prescott House, Side Elevation, 2000
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Other Name(s)

Prescott House
Acacia Grove

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1800/01/01 to 1820/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/08/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Prescott House is a two-and-one-half storey, light brick house with a rubble stone basement. The house has a truncated hipped roof with a slight bell cast and sits on a thirty-two acre site surrounded by gardens at Starr’s Point, Nova Scotia. Both the building and surrounding property are included in the heritage designation.

Heritage Value

Prescott House, also known as Acacia Grove, was built circa 1809-1818 and is valued both for its association with the Honorable Charles Ramage Prescott, its architectural style, and surrounding gardens.

Historical Value

Prescott was a wealthy Halifax merchant, member of the House of Assembly representing Cornwallis Township, and later a member of the Legislative Council for Nova Scotia. He was perhaps best known for his contributions to the development of Nova Scotia’s agricultural industry. Prescott introduced a variety of fruits, vegetable and fodder plants from around the world that better suited the Nova Scotia climate. He is also credited with introducing the Gravenstein apple to the Maritime region. Prescott lived in the house until his death in 1859 and it remained in the Prescott family until 1971 when it became part of the Nova Scotia Museum complex.

Architectural Value

Architecturally, Prescott House is one of the finest examples of Colonial Georgian architecture in the province, characterized by its symmetry. The house is set back from the road, commanding a view of the surrounding countryside and gardens. The walls are of light red brick made from local clay and the basement is constructed of rubble stone with a fronting of sandstone quarried at a Wallace, Nova Scotia pit. The roof is a truncated medium hip. The house is a local landmark situated among the fertile fields of Starr’s Point in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley.

Environmental Value

Charles Prescott had an excellent knowledge of landscape planning, which in part remains evident in the gardens of Prescott House. The property was also known as Acacia Grove, a name derived from a grove of Acacia or Black Locust tress planted by Prescott. Only one remains on the property today. The house and gardens suffered neglect for many years until Prescott’s great-granddaughter undertook a restoration of the house and gardens in the 1930s in an attempt to return them to their original state. Several trees on the site are original to Prescott or were germinated from original trees.

Source: Nova Scotia Provincial Registry, heritage Property Program, file no. 015.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the building materials of Prescott House include:

-heavy masonry construction;
-rubble stone foundation;
-walls made of light red brick from local clay;
-foundation fronted with Wallace sandstone.

Exterior character-defining elements of Prescott House include:

-building form and massing;
-five bay façade;
-truncated medium hipped roof with a slight bell cast;
-recessed window with paneling’
-two dominating chimneys;
-two symmetrical dormers at front and rear;
-six-over-six windows;
-centrally located porch with double side loaded stairs.

Interior character-defining elements of Prescott House include:

-seven original fireplaces;
-original basement kitchen.

Character-defining elements of the surrounding property at Prescott House include:

-curved gravel drive;
-surrounding gardens.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Province of Nova Scotia

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Provincially Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Extraction and Production
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type





Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Nova Scotia Provincial Registry, Heritage Property Program, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS B3H 3A6

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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