Woody Point Lighthouse

Heritage Lighthouse

Woody Point, Newfoundland and Labrador
General view of Woody Point, 2009. (© Kraig Anderson - lighthousefriends.com)
General view
(© Kraig Anderson - lighthousefriends.com)
Address : Water Street, Woody Point, Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Statute: Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act (S.C. 2008, c 16)
Designation Date: 2016-08-19
  • 1959 to 1959 (Construction)
  • 1919 to 1919 (Established)

Description of Historic Place

The Woody Point Lighthouse is a 7.3-metre square, tapered, wooden tower, clad with shingles and surmounted by a superimposed gallery and a typical square wooden lantern. Constructed in 1959 to replace the original 1919 light, this lighthouse is located on a grassy Knoll overlooking the south arm of Bonne Bay, on the edge of the town of Woody Point.

Heritage Value

The Woody Point Lighthouse is a heritage lighthouse because of its historical, architectural, and community values.

Historical values
The region around what later became Woody Point was launched as an important fishing area after the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht, in 1713, allowing France to fish off the west coast of Newfoundland, but not to settle. The region came to be known as the French Shore. British settlement began around 1800 when Bird and Company built a trading post for furs and salmon at Woody Point. The herring fishery, and later cod and lobster fisheries, led to a growth in importance of the town, and to the 1919 building of the first lighthouse. A major fire three years later cost the town its business centre, a loss from which the town never recovered as a commercial centre. But the lighthouse survived and in recent times the community has revived as a centre for tourism.
The original harbour lighthouse provided navigational aid to the flourishing fishing community of Woody Point. The present lighthouse continues as a navigational aid for the local community. Surrounded by Gros Morne National Park, it is an important landmark from both land and water.

Architectural values
The Woody Point Lighthouse is a simple but elegant and well executed example of a square, tapered, wooden tower, with a superimposed gallery. This 7.3 metre tower has a classic square wooden lantern supported in a streamlined manner by the tower walls. This architectural pattern was the preferred design of the Department of Marine and Fisheries in the 19th century and beyond. The “tower with a superimposed gallery” is one of seven variations on the design.
Lighthouses built to according to this design are sturdy, movable, economical, and easy to erect using local materials and expertise. As well it can be adapted to varying heights, uses natural lighting from its windows for the interior and has a gallery for external lantern work. It has an interior staircase providing access to the gallery and lantern. The lighthouse rests on a concrete foundation and is in excellent condition.

Community values
Surrounded by Gros Morne National Park, Woody Point Lighthouse sits on the edge of a rocky cliff, on a grassy, sparsely treed headland, called Crawley Head, where it is accessible by a short path from town.
The lighthouse is a focal point for the community and is featured on the town logo. A much photographed point of interest for tourists, it is a popular landmark from the water for tourists arriving by cruise ship. In this setting, the Woody Point Lighthouse is a poignant reminder of Newfoundland’s history of outport communities, as well as the town’s history as the former centre of commerce for the Northwest coast. The community of Woody Point is thought to have more heritage buildings than any other town of its size in Canada. The region attracts many artists and has an active festival season in summer. The town is the site of the Gros Morne Discovery Centre interpretive museum, and is just across the bay from the popular marine research centre and aquarium at Bonne Bay Marine Station. The lighthouse is considered “a treasured landmark” by community residents.

Related buildings
No related building are included in the designation.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the Woody Point Lighthouse should be respected:
— its remote location on the undeveloped land on Crawley Head;
— its intact, as-built structural form, height, profile, and balanced proportions, based on the standard design of square, tapered wooden towers (Type 3: Tower with a
superimposed gallery);
— its square, wooden structure with tapered sides rising from the foundation base;
— its superimposed square, wooden gallery supported by plain metal brackets;
— its plain metal gallery railing;
— its square wooden lantern and metal ventilator;
— its entry door and window, both with pediment roofs that project from the façade;
— its traditional red and white exterior colour scheme consisting of a white tower, accented by red features including the door and window pediments and sills, the gallery railing and brackets, and the lantern roof and ventilator; and
— its visual prominence in relation to the water and landscape.