The Lyle House is a one and one-half storey, single gable Georgian residence with Greek Revival details, located in the rural community of Birch Hill, Prince Edward Island.
Why is this place important?
The Lyle House is valued as an excellent example of early domestic architecture in rural Prince Edward Island. With its clean, unadorned lines, the Lyle House is in the Georgian architectural style, with Greek Revival details. The house was built in 1836 for James Lyle (b. 1805) and his wife Elizabeth Birch of Birch Hill. Lyle was born in England and settled in PEI as a young man. He was the post master for Lot 16 and the post office was located in his residence from 1836-1859. James and Elizabeth Lyle raised 11 children here. The Lyle House operated as an inn for travellers between Charlottetown and points west and local school teachers boarded here. The house passed through four generations of the Lyle family over a period of 100 years. In 1937, the home was moved to the rear of the property to accommodate a new house constructed by James Lyles grandson, Prushia Lyle. The original kitchen wing was removed and relocated to the nearby community of Miscouche. The Lyle House was then used variously over the years as a granary, chicken coop, machine shop and playhouse for the Lyle children. The roof of the building was maintained over the years, however, few changes were made to the structure. Its layout and interior original features including wood moldings, fireplace mantlepiece, panelled doors, windows, chair rail and ceiling rafters were largely unaltered. In 1863 the central chimney was removed and replaced with a stove.
After being vacant for 75 years, the current owners acquired the building in 2005, had it moved to its current location, and began to painstakingly restore it to its original condition. Rotted wood and materials that were beyond repair were replaced using salvaged original materials and, where necessary, new millwork replicated original architectural details. In 2009, the owners were acknowledged for their efforts with a PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation Architectural Heritage Preservation award.
The Lyle House is an important landmark in the Birch Hill landscape.
Source : Heritage Files, Dept. of Education, Early Learning & Culture, Charlottetown
File # : 4320-20/L3
The heritage value of the Lyle House is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- size and massing of the residence
- the simple, clean lines and symmetrically balanced facade
- the wood shingle cladding
- the centered entrance door with transom
- the wide Greek Revival style corner boards and pilaster caps as eave returns
- the slope and pitch of the roof
- the evenly spaced multi-paned windows on each elevation
- the rebuilt summer kitchen wing on the north elevation