Beaconsfield House was constructed in 1877 for a wealthy shipbuilder and merchant and his family. Beaconsfield House is an enduring example of Victorian architecture, design and elegance. The home has twenty-five rooms, eight fireplaces. Beaconsfield was one of Charlottetown’s finest homes in its day. The house is open to the public for tours. They also host special events in the carriage house. A bookstore is also on site.
Beaconsfield Historic House History
The original owner of Beaconsfield house was James Peake, who was from Prince Edward Island. Beaconsfield House is a reflection of his wealth. It is modern for the era in which it was built, with all the latest conveniences of the 19th century: central heating, gas lighting, and running water. The Peake family entertained extensively and even had royalty as guests: Princess Louise, the daughter of Queen Victoria attended a party there. The economy in the 1880’s was tenuous and unstable. The collapse of the shipbuilding industry meant that James Peake lost his fortune. He lived in the house for only five years.
The next owner was the eccentric Henry Cundall. He never married and lived at Beaconsfield with his two sisters. When Henry died in 1926, he left the house to the city of Charlottetown as a refuge for “friendless young women”. It was renamed Cundall House. Cundall House operated as a homeless shelter for four years. In the early 1930’s Cundall House became a dormitory for student nurses. In the 1970’s it was turned into a museum and renamed Beaconsfield House.
Beaconsfield Historic House Location, Hours and Tours
Beaconsfield house is located in Charlottetown Harbor. It has beautiful views of the water. A live guide will give you a tour of the house for a nominal fee. Admission includes being able to wander in and out of the rooms at will, there is no need to take the guided tour.
The Museum also offers a variety of children’s events, dancing lessons, lectures, parties and it is always looking for members if you live in Charlottetown and want to volunteer.
Beaconsfield Historic House is open year-round for tours. Hours of operation are subject to change, so call 902-368-6603 to confirm.