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Ashbourne Longhouse Municipal Heritage Site

Twillingate, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2007/11/05

View of the left and front facades of Ashbourne Longhouse, Twillingate, NL.; HFNL 2010
Ashbourne Longhouse, Twillingate, NL
View of the front facade of Ashbourne Longhouse, Twillingate, NL.; HFNL 2010
Ashbourne Longhouse, Twillingate, NL
View of the front facade of Ashbourne Longhouse, Twillingate, NL. Photo taken 2004. ; HFNL/Andrea O'Brien 2010
Ashbourne Longhouse, Twillingate, NL

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/03/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Ashbourne Longhouse is a two-storey structure with a mid-pitch roof. Constructed sometime between the late 1700s and early 1800s, this Georgian inspired home is located on Main Street in Twillingate, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Ashbourne Longhouse has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Twillingate due to its aesthetic, historic and cultural values.

Aesthetically, the building is of value as it is a good example of Georgian inspired merchant class housing. In addition, the longhouse style of construction is very rare in the province. The physical grandness of the house is tempered by the symmetrical facade lacking in decorative features, which creates a sense of order and simplicity. Its scale was apparently achieved through additions to a much smaller residence. Physical evidence uncovered during restoration revealed another roof under the present one. This roof would have topped a structure measuring 7.62 m X 7.62 m.

The building is historically important as it is one of the oldest surviving private residences in Twillingate and the province. Constructed in the early 1800s, it was owned by a series of individuals who were influential in the economic and political evolution of the region.

William Menchinton, the first owner of the property, operated a large mercantile establishment in Twillingate and made a great contribution to the local economy and to the development of fisheries in the region.

Edwin Duder Sr., the owner of a large mercantile firm in St. John’s, purchased Menchinton’s premises in Twillingate. His company was very successful and his presence in Twillingate speaks to the community’s significant role in the fishing industry of the time.

William Ashbourne, a prominent merchant in Twillingate, bought the house in 1897. Ashbourne outfitted schooners participating in the Labrador fishery and the seal hunt, as well as exporting fish and seal products, contributing to the economic growth of Twillingate.

William’s son Thomas played an important role in Newfoundland’s political evolution. A member of the National Convention, following confederation with Canada Thomas went on to represent the Twillingate area on the provincial and federal level.

The building has cultural value as it is representative of a particular time and place. In a community context it is a physical reminder of the prosperity of businesses involved in the fishery and related industries throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Source: Town of Twillingate Regular Council Meeting Motion 07-205 November 5, 2007.

Character-Defining Elements

All those elements which represent the aesthetic, historical and cultural value of Ashbourne Longhouse, including:
-symmetrical Georgian facade;
-mid-pitch roof;
-number of storeys;
-wooden roof shingles;
-narrow clapboard;
-corner boards;
-window size, style, trim and placement;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
-size, style and placement of three chimneys;
-wood post foundation;
-dimension, location and orientation of building;
-association with developing fishing industry in area.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

NL Municipality

Recognition Statute

Municipalities Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
1 Springdale Street
St. John's, NL A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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