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William Henry Pynn House

Quirpon, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2001/09/15

Exterior photo, rear facade, William Henry Pynn House, Quirpon, before restoration.; HFNL 2005
William Henry Pynn House, Quirpon
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/01/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The William Henry Pynn House is a timber framed, five bedroom house built in 1892 by the Pynn Family of Quirpon on the Great Northern Peninsula. This designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Heritage Value:

The William Henry Pynn House is designated as a Registered Heritage Structure due to its historic, architectural and cultural values:

Historic Value:

Built in 1892, the William Henry Pynn House is the oldest building in Quirpon and likely in this area of the Great Northern Peninsula. Built by the Pynn family of Pynn Cove in Quirpon, this house is historically valuable for its association with the Pynn family and its important role in the community. The Pynn family was a prominent and fairly wealthy family that had immigrated from the West Country of England. This house is the second house built on this site by the Pynn family and this house was always known as a safe haven for wayfaring strangers and a shelter for the lighthouse keepers in a storm. The proximity of the house to the wharf also made it the place that visitors came to wait for their boat. Furthermore, the William Henry Pynn House was the site of the first post office and telephone in Quirpon. This is historically valuable as a representation of early communications in rural Newfoundland.

Architectural Value:

The William Henry Pynn House is architecturally valuable as a well-preserved example of 19th century vernacular architecture. The steeply gabled roof and window style are typical of this period. The simplicity of the design stands as a testament to the way of life during this period. There were many houses of this type built in Newfoundland during this period and the only distinctions are in size, not style. The Pynn family was considered wealthy and thus the William Henry Pynn House is larger than others of this style.

Cultural Value:

As the oldest house in the community of Quirpon, the William Henry Pynn House is an important landmark. The peak of the house was used as a landmark for fishermen to find their way in and out of the harbour. Furthermore, there is a flagpole behind the house which was used to signal ships into the harbour using different coloured flags.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador Unnumbered Property file: Quirpon-William Henry Pynn House

Character-Defining Elements

All those features that are reflective of the age, construction and vernacular design of the place, including:
-Wood construction;
-steep gabled roof;
-simple design and trimwork;
-window number, design, placement, and trimwork;
-building height, massing, dimensions and number of storeys, and
-location in the community.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Statute

Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

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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