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Quirpon Island Lightkeeper's Residence

Cape Bauld, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/11/26

View of Quirpon Island Lightkeeper's Residence, with Cape Bauld Lighthouse to the right.; Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2004
Quirpon Island Lightkeeper's Residence, Cape Bauld
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/07/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Lightkeeper’s Residence is a semi-detached, two storey wooden structure with a truncated hipped roof. Located on Quirpon Island, this residence is part of a grouping of marine navigational aid buildings, situated at the edge of the Atlantic ocean on the northernmost point of the island of Newfoundland. The designation of this house is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Lightkeeper’s Residence has been designated a Registered Heritage Structure because of its historical, architectural, and environmental values.

The Lightkeeper’s Residence at Cape Bauld is historically significant due to its ties with transportation in both Newfoundland and Canada. The Cape Bauld lighthouse premise was established as an aid for ships taking the “fast route” from Europe to Canada via the Strait of Belle Isle. Before the introduction of steamships, sailing vessels were forced to take the longer route past Cape Race as they were unable to navigate through the narrow, treacherous strait. Steamships were able to safely use the Cape Bauld route, decreasing sea time. For the residents in the surrounding areas, the Cape Bauld lightstation is historically significant as it is a lasting reminder of a time in Newfoundland’s history when Cape Bauld played an important role in the lives and safety of so many people travelling past the Great Northern Peninsula.

Architecturally, the Lightkeeper’s Residence is significant because it is a good example of a typical lightkeeper’s dwelling in Newfoundland. Additionally, this lighthouse is the last remaining lighthouse of a specific design developed from the Department of Marine and Fisheries plan in the early twentieth century. This two storey wooden building was designed with a symmetrical front façade and truncated hipped roof with shed dormers, typical of many lightkeeper’s dwellings throughout Newfoundland. The wooden shingle cladding used to cover the residence is typical of this type of building due to its ability to withstand harsh coastal weather conditions. Like most other lighthouse structures in the province, this building is painted bright white with red trim and a red roof making it visible from sea against its barren surroundings. According to the Coast Guard records, this building was one of seven structures built using a specific plan administered by the Department of Marine and Fisheries. Certain decorative features in this plan, for example the wood working along the porch on the front façade, were simplified during the building of the lightkeeper’s residence at Cape Bauld, resulting in a much more modest- looking building. Currently, this building is the last remaining lightkeeper’s dwelling of this particular series still standing.

The Lightkeeper’s Residence at Cape Bauld is environmentally valuable for its location. Lightstations are landmarks by nature and thus the location of the lightkeeper’s house as a part of the lightstation complex is important. The bright colours of the structures on the island contrast greatly with the barren environment, creating a visible landmark for passing ships at sea. This cluster of buildings is located at the northernmost point of the island of Newfoundland, on the tiny island of Quirpon.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, unnumbered file, Cape Bauld – Light keeper’s Residence

Character-Defining Elements

All original features which relate to the age and style of the building including:
- truncated hipped roof;
- wooden shingles;
- all original doors and windows;
- shed dormer windows;
- simplicity of exterior decoration;
- typical white and red exterior paint, white being the main exterior colour with red trim;
- location, dimensions, and exterior detail on front façade porch;
- dimension, location and orientation of house;
- location and orientation of house in respects to the surrounding environment; and
- all remaining original interior features that reflect the age, style and usage of the building.



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



Navigational Aid or Lighthouse

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

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

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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