Description of Historic Place
Kings Landing Historical Settlement consists of a re-created settlement of late 18th century to early 20th century buildings representing the evolution of rural life in central New Brunswick. It is located in Prince William, York County.
Kings Landing Historical Settlement is designated a Provincial Historic Site for its preservation of the history of the settlers along the Saint John River.
Kings Landing Historical Settlement was created as part of the Mactaquac Hydroelectric Dam project which was undertaken as a federal-provincial project which began in 1965. Because the dam would flood the mid St. John River Valley from Mactaquac to Upper Woodstock, potentially destroying settlements begun by Loyalist refugees, their descendants, and 19th century immigrants, the historically and architecturally significant buildings from these early settlements were moved to what is now Kings Landing. Kings Landing Historical Settlement is a living history museum consisting of 37 historic buildings, 34 of which have been restored and 3 of which have been rehabilitated, as well as 28 reconstructed buildings, which are all set in a settlement pattern on a 53 hectare site along the St. John River. Two more buildings which would have been destroyed by construction in Fredericton were subsequently moved to Kings Landing. The architectural history of rural central New Brunswick from 1790s to the early 1920s is well documented and preserved. The settlement portrays the evolution of rural life in the St. John River Valley from the Loyalists, the Scottish and Irish immigrants and the late Victorians.
Kings Landing Historical Settlement also has value as a historic interpretation centre. The buildings, as well as the collection of furniture, decorative arts and pre-industrial technology, represent a way of life for the early settlers in a rural community. The re-enactment of the relationship between homes and the land in an agrarian society, the relationship between farm buildings and farm houses and the social spiritual life of the communities are interpretations of what was probably rural life from the 1790s to the early 1920.
Source: Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport, Heritage Branch, Site File:Vol.I-18500-D,2
The character-defining elements of Kings Landing Historical Settlement include:
- 67 buildings from a cross-section of late 18th century, 19th century and early 20th century rural society, from upper middle class homes to working class homes, including the following:
- three examples of Loyalist architecture, distinguished by traditional 5 bay rectangular layouts with medium pitched roofs and shingle siding;
- two neoclassical houses from the prosperous years of New Brunswick’s timber trade, expressed by rectangular 5 bay plans with medium pitch gable roofs;
- two side hill houses, including a rare 2 storey fieldstone residence;
- three working class homes expressed by simple Classical Revival architecture, including medium pitched roofs, rectangular plans and overall symmetry;
- a Country Gothic Revival house, expressed in the front cross gable roof and rectangular massing;
- an Irish immigrant’s square log cabin, the only preserved example left in New Brunswick, the style expressed in its square form, medium pitched roof and hand split shingles;
- early 19th century ox barn, expressed in its rectangular 1 ½ story massing, the use of shingles and end doors;
- early 19th century horse barn distinguished by the 2 storey rectangular massing, medium pitched roof and the interior spatial arrangement;
- double English style stock barn;
- elongated English style stock barn;
- four English style stock barns built circa 1840 distinguished by medium pitched roofs and hewn post and beam construction;
- two Gothic Revival churches, including a Country Gothic Revival church with Bishop Medley influences distinguished by Gothic windows and butternut interior finish;
- three buildings built by Scottish immigrant James Mitchell, mostly of Neoclassical 5 bay design.
The character-defining elements relating to the location and context of the buildings include:
- farm settings replicating the original arrangement of building and some original landscapes;
- buildings restored to different time periods to reflect change over time.
The character-defining elements associated with the use of the village as a historic interpretive centre include:
- the collection of artefacts comprising of furniture, decorative arts and pre-industrial technology.