The property, which has had a succession of owners over the past several centuries, may well be the oldest identifiable fishery plantation in existence on the Island of Newfoundland. The long two and one half storey wooden salt-box store located on the western edge of the plantation is believed to have been built around 1733, making it possibly the oldest surviving structure on the coast.
During its long service it has served in many capacities including that of salt fish store, salmon packing house, salt store, fish dryer, barter shop, residence of owner (while new residence was being built), temporary Methodist Church (1871) while a new church was being built, headquarters for the newly established Salvation Army Corps (1886) and miscellaneous warehousing purposes in more recent years.
The residence on the plantation was built for the then owner, Jabez Saint, during the period 1872-73, and replaced an earlier structure on the same site.
The origins of the name Mockbeggar are unclear but several instances of the name have been identified in England, including a sand bar, called Mockbeggar Wharf located just offshore on the tip of the Wirral Peninsula. Villages of the same name are to be found near the western border of the county of Hampshire and also in the counties of East Sussex and of Kent.
From 1939 to 1966, the property was occupied by F. Gordon Bradley, a lawyer and politician who, after playing a significant role in the move to bring Newfoundland into Confederation with Canada, became Newfoundland's first representative in the Canadian Cabinet, and later served as a member of the Senate.
In 1980, the Bradley family donated the property to the Province. It has since been restored to the early 20th century period and should not be missed.
Season: May - Oct , Call for dates 800-563-6353
Location: Roper Street, Bonavista
Telephone: 709-468-7300 or 709-468-7444
Facilities and Services: Guided tours and public washrooms.
Getting Here: Driving from St. John's (approximately 3 1/2 hours):
1.Trans Canada Highway (Route 1 West)
2.Just past Clarenville, take Exit 26 to Route 230
3.North on Route 230 for approx 100 km to the Town of Bonavista
4.Along Confederation Drive and left onto Groves Lane
5.Right onto Rolling Cove Road/Long Beach Road
6.This road turns into Mockbeggar Road. Look for the white picket fence and parking lot for this site on the right hand side of the road.