Skip to main content

Furniture and Artefacts at Villa Les Rochers

Before Lady Agnes Macdonald sold Villa Les Rochers to Lord Thomas Shaughnessy in 1895, she had directed that its contents be auctioned.

A colour photograph of Sir John A. Macdonald's bed, a wooden three-quarter size bed, featuring a tall headboard and smaller footboard, with scuffed blue paint especially along the sideboards.

Sir John A. Macdonald’s bed at Villa Les Rochers


Everything was sold but for two items: a wooden bed that had belonged to her husband Sir John A. Macdonald, and his cast iron umbrella stand.

The bed, which had been stored in the cellar, was later discovered there in the 1950s with a label bearing a return address indicating Stadacona Hall, Sir John A.’s residence before 1883.

Presumably the umbrella stand was too heavy to be easily moved.

A cast-iron black painted umbrella stand about two and a half feet (62 cm) high and 18 inches (45 cm) wide, six inches (15 cm) deep. The cast iron is formed with symmetrical floral designs. The handles of two canes and one umbrella protrude from the top of the stand. Wallpaper adorns the wall behind it.

This umbrella stand at Villa Les Rochers originally belonged to Sir John A. Macdonald


A colour photograph of a Glenwood brand cast iron cookstove, with polished metal cooking and warming surfaces. The viewer is looking at the stove from the front, facing the oven compartment's door. The stove sits on a square of tin that protects the floor. A ceramic coffeepot stands on the uppermost warming shelf of the stove.

Wood stove in the kitchen at Villa Les Rochers


The American Glenwood stove in the present-day kitchen likely replaced an older one in the 1950s when the kitchen was updated.


View of the interior corner of a dining room, with an upholstered chair and a wooden sideboard with drawers, cupboard doors and a mirror. The wall behind the furniture is wallpapered in a floral design.

North-east corner of dining room at Villa Les Rochers


Lord and Lady Shaughnessy acquired other pieces of furniture to fill the rooms of the house, possibly buying back some of the original pieces. These were included in the sale of Villa Les Rochers to the Symington family in 1939.

A colour photo of an old-fashioned upholstered chesterfield set in a nook behind a door, its back against a wallpapered wall upon which hangs a painting of cherubs.

Period furniture, wallpaper and painting in a living room nook at Villa Les Rochers


The wallpaper in the hallways, main rooms and bedrooms, which may date from Lord Symington’s time, has been carefully preserved. Other pieces of furniture that are featured in the house were chosen to represent and reflect the eras in which its owners lived.


A colour photo of an old wooden victrola, its lid propped open, and next to the victrola is a cast-iron music stand.

Victrola at Villa Les Rochers


We invite you to watch a video entitled Clair de Lune on Victrola at Villa Les Rochers, inspired by the Victrola pictured above, and one of the records on its shelf: Clair de Lune by Debussy.

Clair de Lune on Victrola at Villa Les Rochers View video with descriptive transcript