Home / Accueil

The Willow House

11 Willow Street, Pictou, Nova Scotia, B0M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1987/12/21

Central door with transom window and sidelight, The Willow House, Pictou, 2006; Heritage Division, NS Dept of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006
Central Door with Transom Windows
Decorative bracket, The Willow House, Pictou, 2006; Heritage Division, NS Dept of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006
Decorative Bracket
Front Elevation, The Willow House, Pictou, 2006; Heritage Division, NS Dept of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006
Front Elevation

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/03/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Willow House is a two and a half storey, wood construction, Neo-Classical building located on the lower section of Willow Street in the Town of Pictou, Nova Scotia. The house sits on a lot of land which borders on both Water Street and Church Street. The Willow House is the only house situated between Church Street and Water Street and the front of the building runs parallel with the west sideline of Willow Street. The building was used as a private residence for many years and is now operated as an inn. Both the house and property are included in the municipal designation.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of The Willow House, as stated in its municipal designation, is due to its age at the time of designation and its association with David Matheson and David McCulloch.

When The Willow House was formally registered as a heritage property in 1987 the building was 147 years old. The age of the building is reflected in its Neo-Classical structure, which is typical of its construction period.

During the 1800s there was continuous movement by boats between Nova Scotia and Britain. The Neo-Classical structure allowed architects the flexibility of change as new ideas came over from Britain. The universal style in form, windows and door mouldings did not change as new ideas were consequently used in construction. The Willow House maintains these three staples: a symmetric façade, vertical sliding windows and decorative mouldings.

David Matheson had the honour of being Pictou’s first Mayor. Matheson served as Mayor for one term, 1874-1875. Before his death in 1886 Matheson served as the Prothontary and Clerk to County Court in Pictou.

From 1843 to 1850 The Willow House was owned by David McCulloch, brother of the Rev. Dr. Thomas McCulloch. Rev. McCulloch was the founder principal of the well known Pictou Academy.

Source: Inventory Site Form 30.02.00039, Nova Scotia Department of Culture, Recreation & Fitness.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of The Willow House include:

- Wood construction;
- Feathered clapboard;
- Symmetrical three bay facade;
- Central door with transom widows and sidelights;
- Decorative brackets;
- Second level central double window;
- Central pedimented gable dormer;
- Steep pitch gable roof;
- Two inset chimneys;
- Cornerboards framing the exterior facade.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn


Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Pictou Regional Development Commission, 980 East River Road, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, B2H 3S8

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places