Uniacke Estate Museum Park is part of the country estate of Attorney-General Richard John Uniacke. Born in 1753 at Castleton, County Cork, Ireland, Richard John Uniacke enjoyed the wealthy life of the landed gentry. Gentry standing for “ruling class”.
Uniacke’s grand country house was built between 1813 and 1815. It is one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in Canada. The estate offers visitors a glimpse of life in the 1800s among Nova Scotia’s gentry or ruling class.
Nostalgic for his native Ireland, he modeled his property after the Irish country estates. His estate included a large family home, a number of barns, a coach house, guest house, wash house, baths, privy, hot house, caretaker’s house and an ice house.
He was interested in the latest agricultural methods and spent his last years improving his land and growing exotic plants in his hothouse. Late in life, he planted acorns that he brought to Canada from Ireland. Today, visitors can still see some of the mighty oaks he planted.
Trees were also used to form gateways, and planted in the fields to add to the picturesque beauty of the place. The brook was improved with stone walls and willow plantings thanks to ‘Earth Adventures’.
Stone walls have been discovered in what is now forest, evidence that many of the 100 acres cleared for Uniacke have since returned to the wild.
The park is located at 758 Highway 1 in Mount Uniacke, approximately 26 minutes from Halifax.
The park has washroom facilities in the form of outhouses, which are located near the trail head outside of the museum.
The trails are are well maintained and easily walkable as is the entire property. There is a boat launch for canoeing and water sports.
You can bring pets here but they must be on a leash.
The hours vary but generally the park opens at 8:30 a.m. daily and closes at dusk. Check the hours on the museum’s Facebook page to be sure.
There’s also a tea room on site with light refreshments for sale, and ample space for picnic lunches.
Admission is free for July and August of 2021. Check out the museum’s Facebook page.
I wouldn’t have thought that this park was significant until I visited it recently. The sounds alone are worth the trip, but the scenery is what makes the experience so unforgettable.
The forested area feels like something out of an old Robin Hood movie with so many tall towering Oak and Hemlock trees. The trees provide plenty of shade and in some areas they allow the light to shine down onto the pathway making for some epic photos. Everyone should visit this park, whether they are from Nova Scotia or not as it is a world class historically significant property.
Information sources – Nova Scotia Tourism