A Brief History of Carwarden
In 1910, Lt. Josiah Sherlocke Warrington Arthur Haigh Lyne-Evans came with his wife and small daughter from England, and commissioned Leslie Fairn, then a local architect in Kings County, to design a large country house for him. Carwarden, the resulting building, would suggest both the desire for a residence which could be considered an estate house in the Victorian sense, and an appreciation of the rural Nova Scotia context in which the property was located.
Lyne-Evans was born in 1882 in Haycock Parish, Lancashire, and entered as a second lieutenant the 12th Lancers in 1902. After coming to Canada, he was commissioned in 1912 as an officer in the Royal Canadian Regiment, then stationed at the Halifax Citadel. At the outbreak of the First World War, he went to France as the adjutant of the 3rd Infantry Battalion, and subsequently commanded the 23rd Infantry Battalion. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and also the Military Cross for his “gallant and distinguished conduct in the Field” at the Second Battle of Ypres, where he was wounded. After he returned to service he was mentioned in despatches. Later he suffered from shell shock and in 1917 he had to take sick leave because of a recurrence of trench fever. He subsequently retired to the south of France, having completed his distinguished military career with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel..
Because of Lyne-Evans’ going to war, Carwarden was sold in 1915 to S.H.Morris, a retired officer. Arthur S. Clerk of Canard purchased the property in 1919, and he and later his son, Charles, farmed the land until Charles’ retirement in 1962. John Steele, a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, then purchased it, and in 1967 it became the property of the present owners.
Leslie Fairn was perhaps the most prolific architect ever to practice in Nova Scotia, and the long span of his distinguished career, (1899 to 1971),has earned him the title of dean of modern Nova Scotian architects. Between 1902 and 1920, Fairn designed at least seventeen large houses, for an obviously upper middle class clientele; stylistically, they show an evolution from the Queen Anne Revival style to a Craftsman aesthetic. Carwarden is the first of his residential designs to be designated a Provincial Heritage Property, representing a transitional phase in the architect’s career, with some general Queen Anne Revival attributes, specific Craftsman details, and an obvious influence of the traditional architecture of the region.
Despite its rather grand beginnings, Carwarden has always been a family home, so that its present use as a bed and breakfast seems an appropriate extension of its long tradition of hospitality. Fortunately, because the house has changed hands so few times, there have been no major structural changes, and the house is essentially just as it was built. Of its many attractive features, space and light are predominant: rooms are generously proportioned, ceilings are high (9 1/2 foot), and windows are many and large. The comfortable furnishings are for the most part family pieces, many with a story to tell.
A few years ago,the present owner was able to establish a connection with the original owners when a grandson of Lt.Col. Lyne-Evans was a guest here. He has generously provided pictures of his grandparents, and a set of Lt.-Col. Lyne-Evans’ military medals which now hang above the staircase at Carwarden.
For Bed & Breakfast reservations, please call Toll Free 1-888-763-3320 or Telephone 902-678-7827 use our convenient online form for enquiries.
Open May 1-October 31; off season by appointment