Restore the Dovecote at the Auchmar Estate

Organization: Friends of Auchmar

Province: ON

City: Hamilton

Website: www.friendsofauchmar.ca

Facebook: @friendsofauchmar

Twitter: @foauchmar

About This Project Idea

People and organizations across Canada are rallying to restore Hamilton’s treasured Auchmar Estate — a 10-acre, publicly owned property built by The Honourable Isaac Buchanan that features a unique cultural landscape. The property includes a dovecote, likely one of two remaining in Canada. This is a large, multi-year restoration initiative that’s been divided into small, manageable projects. Friends of Auchmar volunteers — in partnership with the City of Hamilton, Hamilton Heritage Foundation and others — are currently fundraising for the makeover of the Auchmar dovecote. Picture a restored gothic dovecote topped with pointed gables and a distinctive finial. The dovecote is a rare Victorian-era building that must be saved for future generations. Our vision is to restore the dovecote and put it to new use as a focal point for gatherings, ceremonies and photography in conjunction with Environment Hamilton and community gardens, a signature element of a fully restored Auchmar Estate that is open to the public and emblematic of Hamilton’s respect for its architectural heritage.

Community Impact

The Love the Dovecote project is important on its own. Yet it has a very powerful meaning in the context of a larger story: the heritage restoration of the Auchmar Estate. When renewal work is complete in the coming years, the estate will be a major asset of local, regional and national significance. It’s envisaged as the future home to several leading not-for-profit organizations committed to public service — including the storied Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (RHLI)— and a place for learning, recreation, dining and special events. Locally, the estate will be embraced as one of a few remaining heritage landmarks on Hamilton Mountain, a part of the city that has absorbed a large share of new growth over the years. In time, plans call for the Auchmar Estate to be joined by the neighbouring Century Manor Estate and Chedoke House to create a distinctive heritage precinct.

About this place

Auchmar Estate is the early country home of The Honourable Isaac Buchanan (1810-1883). Isaac Buchanan is widely recognized for his many ground-breaking contributions to business, politics, religion and transportation — he was a true innovator who made a lasting impact on Hamilton and our nation. Buchanan established the 13thBattalion of the RHLI and was its founding commanding officer. That is why the Battalion’s involvement in Auchmar’s restoration is such a compelling tie-in. Built in the 1850s on what is now the Niagara Escarpment overlooking the City of Hamilton, Auchmar is a rare example of a picturesque cultural landscape with Gothic revival architecture that includes the manor house and several outbuildings; a gatehouse, stables, a private shed, gazebo, coach house and, of course, the dovecote. Set in this landscape are orchards, a stone walled garden and a treed Grande Allée that brought visitors to the manor. In 2016, Hamilton City Council voted to keep the Auchmar Estate in public ownership. The estate is the site of numerous conservation easements administered by the Ontario Heritage Trust.

Why Give?

Your financial contribution will be added to a growing multi-partner fund used to restore the stone walls, lancet windows, gabled roof, and finial of the dovecote. These features give the dovecote its charm and character, and complement the stone walled garden. Without your help, work on the dovecote will continue to be delayed resulting in ongoing deterioration. We need to work together save the dovecote before it’s too late. Love the dovecote at Auchmar!

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