96-98 Water Street

Bylaw: (1979)-10058

Legal description: Pt Lot 34, Pt Lot 35, Plan 37

Designated portions

The limestone walls on three sides of the original house (those walls facing Water Street, Mary Street and in a westerly direction) and the roof. The eight carved heads on the front gable-end are worthy of special mention. Original woodwork in the interior and the main staircase lit by a skylight are also designated by this by-law as being of architectural importance.

Property history

This house was built of local limestone, circ 1858, by Matthew Bell (1820-1883), Guelph stone carver and mason, who was a native of Newcastle, England. It has received national recognition for its distinctive series of eight carved heads. The sculptural decoration of the north-east gable is a notable feature of this house. Presently a duplex dwelling, the building has survived 121 years with little alteration. The interior contains much of the original woodwork, including an unusual carved staircase lit by a skylight. The designation does not include the rear (southerly) wall of the original two-storey house or any existing or future addition or accessory building attached to, or behind, the rear walls.