Bloody Point is the site of many legendary tales in the community of New Perlican, NL. It is located at the western entrance to New Perlican Harbour. The designation is confined to the area of land known as Bloody Point.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
Bloody Point has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of New Perlican due to its cultural and aesthetic value. Bloody Point has cultural value as it is a component of the legendary cycle in the community of New Perlican. There are several explanations for the nomenclature of Bloody Point. A practical explanation suggests that it was in reference to the reddish colour of the rocks here, caused by the amount of iron oxide contained in them. Local tradition suggests two other possibilities for the origin of the name. These stories – which both revolve around violent conflicts – posit that the name has more to do with blood that was shed on this site. One story suggests that French and English forces fought for control of the area in the late 1690s. Their forces engaged in a battle at the point and it was named Bloody Point in reference to this battle. Another legendary cycle popular in the community suggests that a group of Beothuks were cornered and trapped here. The Beothuks were slaughtered and the point named for their blood which stained the rocks. Some versions of the story name French forces as the perpetrators of this act while other versions say English settlers were to blame. In a Newfoundland Quarterly article written in 1935 by Rev. Arthur Pittman of New Perlican, the French are named as the culprits. He writes that “On that point it is said a battle was once fought between the French and the Red Indians, hence the name Bloody Point. Be that as it may, I can remember when the rock there had more of a blood-red colour than it has at the present time, and in my boyhood days I heard old men say they could remember when the red stain on the Point was more pronounced than it was when I was a boy.” The naming of Bloody Point speaks to the importance of oral tradition in New Perlican and is tied to the rich intangible cultural heritage of the province as a whole. The importance of the site lies not in the proven validity of the stories associated with it, but because it is an example of the persistence of oral tradition in a modern world. Bloody Point has aesthetic value due to its environmental setting. Situated at the western entrance to New Perlican Harbour, Bloody Point is a smooth rock sloping down to the water’s edge. The point provides an expansive view of New Perlican Harbour and the waters of Trinity Bay. Additionally, Bloody Point can be seen from many vantage points in the community. Source: Town of New Perlican Regular Council Meeting Motion #2014-049 July 16, 2014.
Character Defining Elements
All those elements which represent the cultural and aesthetic significance of Bloody Point, including: -location at the mouth of the harbour; -the untouched, natural landscape of Bloody Point; -unobstructed view planes to and from Bloody Point, and; -continued public access to Bloody Point.
For further information on Bloody Point and New Perlican see Rev. Arthur Pittman’s article “History and Description of New Perlican [1778- 1877]” published in the Newfoundland Quarterly in December 1935, Volume 35(3), pages 17-18.
Location and History
Town of New Perlican
2014 - 2014