Winterholme is a large, two-and-a-half storey Queen Anne Revival-style residence. It is located on a landscaped urban lot at the corner of Circular Road and Rennie’s Mill Road in St. John’s, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
Winterholme was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1986 due to its historic and aesthetic value.
Winterholme was constructed between 1904-1906 as a residence for Sir Marmaduke and Alice Winter. Marmaduke was born in Lamaline in 1857. He received his education at the Church of England Academy in St John’s and at Upper Canada College. In 1878, Marmaduke and his brother Thomas founded the provisioning firm T&M Winter Limited. By 1898 Marmaduke had become principal partner in the firm. He was also president of the Standard Manufacturing Company and the Brehm Manufacturing Company, vice-president of the Newfoundland Marine Insurance Company and Job’s Sealfishery Company, chairman of the board of the Eastern Trust Company, and director of the Newfoundland Light and Power Company. In 1909, Marmaduke became the first president of the Newfoundland Board of Trade. He was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1910 and served as Government House Leader in the Upper House of Newfoundland from 1910-1919.
Outside of his business concerns, he played a leading role in the Newfoundland Patriotic Association and helped to build a military hospital. In 1919 he was rewarded for these efforts by being named a Commander of the British Empire. He was knighted by King George V in 1923. Alice Winter died in 1924 and Marmaduke remarried in 1928. He lived at Winterholme until his death in 1936. A tribute in the Newfoundland Quarterly magazine stated that “Sir Marmaduke was a noted cricketer and oarsman, and he never lost his love for sport, being a frequent spectator at athletic events, and was always a keen angler.” It also recorded that as “A lifelong member of St. Thomas’s Church, Sir Marmaduke Winter was always closely identified with the activities of the parish, filling the position of Rector’s Warden for many years and acting on the Select Vestry as well as Synod representative.”
In 1939, his second wife Flora leased Winterholme to the Canadian army for the duration of the Second World War. After the war it was occupied by Marmaduke’s son, Robert Gordon Winter. Robert’s son Gordon Winter was a signatory for Confederation who went on to serve as provincial finance minister and eventually became the province’s Lieutenant Governor. Following Robert’s death in 1959, Winterholme was purchased by Earle and Elsie Noble, who subdivided the home into apartments. When the Nobles sold the house to Richard and Ruby Cook in 1979, the property was restored and operated as a heritage inn for many years. A small apartment extension was added to the rear of the building in the early 2000s. Otherwise, Winterholme’s facade is largely true to its original construction.
Winterholme was designed in the Queen Anne Revival style by architect William F. Butler. Upon its completion, the cost to built the home was $120,000 – about $2.5 million in today’s currency. The pedimented portico and multiple gables are characteristic of Butler’s work. The asymmetrical blending of architectural styles is typical of Queen Anne Revival houses. Similar stylistic features can be seen nearby at The House, also built by Butler in the same period. Unique to Winterholme are the large bow windows that adorn both wings of the front facade. The decorative details on Winterholme’s facade, combined with the scale of the house and property, create a sense of grandeur that reflects the social and economic prominence of the merchant family who commissioned it.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “St. John’s – Winterholme – FPT 1666”
Character Defining Elements
All elements that define the building’s Queen Anne design including:
-two-and-a-half storey height;
-size and irregular massing of building;
-timber frame construction;
-multi gabled roof;
-stacked chimneys at each end of the roof;
-the heavy classical cornice mouldings;
-varied exterior textures (shingles, wooden clapboarding, projecting string courses);
-the classically inspired, 3-bay facade organized around a central porch;
-the slightly asymmetrical definition of each bay as a distinct identity with its own roof line, roof details, vertical forms and horizontal depths;
-the curved, projecting end bay, one under a conical roof and one under a gable roof;
-the use of varied window forms (bow, curved and flat-headed);
-the decorative ironwork crenellation on a second floor bow window;
-the classical porch supported by colonnettes and crowned with a decorated pediment;
-stained glass transoms and sidelights surrounding wooden entrance doors;
-stained glass window in wooden entrance doors;
-all other original wooden doors;
-the whimsical repetition of features and motifs in pairs with each paired element in a slightly different form (two articulations of curved window forms, two articulations of gables of different sizes, two iterations of a floral motifs);
-exterior finish on foundation, and;
-size, dimensions and location of the building.
All those interior features related to the age and history of the house, including:
-symmetrical ground floor plan with principal rooms organized along a central axis;
-varied interior footprint and fenestration of each room;
-original fireplaces and mantels;
-ornamental plaster work;
-carved oak paneling, and;
All those environmental values related to Winterholme’s history as a merchant family dwelling, including:
-location on large, landscaped lot sheltered by mature trees, and;
-proximity to other former merchant houses of similar age and size, some also constructed by William Butler.
Winterholme was recognized with a Southcott Award by the Newfoundland and Labrador Historic Trust in 1996 for excellence in heritage restoration. It was declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1991.
Location and History
City of St. John's
79 Rennie's Mill Road
1904 - 1906
William F. Butler
H - Shape