St. James Anglican Church Registered Heritage Structure
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
Description of Historic Place
Built in 1857, St. James Anglican Church is a one-and-a-half storey, clapboard cladded church designed in the Gothic Revival style during the episcopacy of Bishop Edward Feild by British architect William Grey. Located in Battle Harbour on the south-east coast of Labrador, St. James Church is the oldest non-Moravian church in Labrador. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
St. James Anglican Church was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1991 due to its aesthetic, historic and cultural value.
St. James Anglican Church has aesthetic value as an excellent example of the Gothic Revival style as adapted in small churches in Newfoundland and Labrador. This church represents a simplified version of Gothic Revival and elements such as the exposed timber framing on the interior of the church embody the style of design inspired by Tractarian practices. St. James Anglican Church is the only remaining church in Newfoundland and Labrador designed by British ecclesiastical architect Reverend William Grey. Grey made a significant contribution to the introduction of the Gothic Revival style by designing a number of churches throughout Newfoundland and Labrador during the Victorian period.
St. James Anglican Church is an good example of a typical, small High Anglican rural church built during the Victorian period. In particular, the layout of the church is representative of this period. There is a bell tower with a pyramidal roof at the west end of the nave and a vestry at the east end. Both the nave and vestry have a steep pitched gable roof. Many original interior features remain, including latches, hinges and keepers that are typical of the Victorian period.
St. James Church has historic value because of its long standing role as the centre of the Anglican mission on the Labrador coast. Commissioned by Bishop Edward Feild in 1852, the church is an important reflection of Bishop Feild’s work to expand the Anglican mission in Labrador. Bishop Feild had an important influence on religious, political and educational life of Newfoundland and Labrador during his episcopacy. The introduction of the Gothic Revival style was the architectural expression of Bishop Feild’s Tractarian views. A rural, High Anglican Church, St. James Church represents the efforts of Bishop Feild during his governance.
St. James Anglican Church has cultural value as a focal point of the landscape of Battle Harbour and it contributes significantly to the complex of buildings that make up this fisheries settlement.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Battle Harbour - St. James Anglican Church – FPT 1425”
Character Defining Elements
All interior and exterior features (lancet windows, pulpit, baptismal font) that are representative of a Labrador interpretation of the Gothic Revival style of architecture, including:
-narrow wood siding;
-pyramidal roof of bell tower;
-steep pitched gable roof of nave and vestry;
-window number, style, materials, construction and placement; and,
-building height, massing and dimensions.
All original interior features that are typical of the period of construction, including:
-original latches, hinges and keepers; and,
-interior exposed timber ceiling.
Those features which speak to the environmental value of the church, including:
-location and context of the church within the Battle Harbour landscape.
Location and History
||1855 - 1857
Reverend William Grey
||Rectangular Short Façade