Description of Historic Place
Burritt House, constructed around 1832, is a one-and-one-half storey Neoclassical stone house located on Donnelly Drive and the Rideau River in the village of Burritts Rapids. It has identical front and rear doors – one facing the road, the other the river – each with sidelights and a rectangular transom, as well as, a small gable containing an oval window.
Burritt House was recognized for its heritage value by the former Township of Rideau (now the city of Ottawa) Bylaw 33/89.
An excellent example of the stone houses built in the Rideau Corridor following the completion of the Rideau Canal, it is distinguished by its rare identical front and rear entrances, which reflect the equal importance of road and river transportation, at the time of its construction. It was built around 1832 of coursed rubble limestone by Daniel Burritt, reputedly using stone masons who had built the Rideau Canal. Neoclassical in design, it has a five bay front elevation and a three bay rear elevation. Both the front and rear entrances have sidelights and rectangular transoms, and are surmounted by a small gable with a decorative oval window. The building exemplifies the Neoclassical style in its uncluttered outlines and careful proportions. This also translates to the detailing, including the classical mouldings on the eaves and gable ends, the design and trim of the door and the accenting gable window.
Descendants of United Empire Loyalists, Daniel Burritt and his brother Stephen founded Burritt's Rapids in 1793, the first settlers in what became the Township of Rideau. At the outbreak of the War of 1812, Daniel was put in charge of the British Battery at Fort Wellington. Upon Burritt's death in 1859, the house and farm was inherited by his son, but in 1905 the farm passed out of the hands of the Burritt family. While the house has undergone some changes over the years it has been restored as accurately as possible to the original. The present owners have been careful to carry out any necessary alterations in a manner compatible with the original.
Sources: Former Township of Rideau Bylaw 33/89; City of Ottawa File XD001-XMM3200/0003405, LACAC Files, Rideau Archives; Betty Bartlett, Buildings of Old Rideau Township: A Driving Tour; Olivia Mills and Renee Smith, eds. Burritt's Rapids 1793-1993: A Scrapbook.
The character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Burritt House include its:
- coursed rubblestone construction and one-and-a-half storey, Neoclassical design with five bays on its front elevation, and three on the rear
- one-and-a-half storey coursed rubblestone wing attached to the east side of the house
- identical front and rear entrances, including paneled doors, multi-paned sidelights with panels, and rectangular, multi-paned transoms surmounted by voussoirs
- small gables with eave returns over the entrances and multi-paned oval windows
- 9 over 9 sash windows with stone sills and voussoirs on the main floor
- 9 over 6 sash windows with stone sills and voussoirs on the gable ends
- classical mouldings on the eaves and gable ends
- two flanking rubblestone chimneys on the main house, and the large rubble stone chimney on the east wing