Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church Registered Heritage Structure
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
Description of Historic Place
Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church is a stone structure with a steeply-pitched gable roof. Built between 1863 to 1865, this property is one of the few remaining stone churches in the province. It is located in Ferryland, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1995 because of its aesthetic, historic and spiritual value.
Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church has aesthetic value because it is a good example of a Gothic Revival stone church. Additionally, it is the last surviving one of a group of five stone churches that were erected during the episcopacy of Bishop John Mullock. Its steeply-pitched multi-gabled roof is large and impressive, making the church visible from various points in the community. Stone quoining accents the Gothic arch windows, the door openings and the corners of the church. The wood panel main doors are topped with arched transom windows. Stone buttresses are present at the end of the nave. The building was constructed using stone harvested from Stone Island, Calvert Bay, and Thomas O’Brien, a carpenter from St. John’s, built the church tower. Unfortunately, the tower was removed from the building.
Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church has further aesthetic value due to its environmental setting and landmark value. The property provides a panoramic view of Ferryland Harbour, its islands, The Pool, the meadows of The Downs and Ferryland Head. It is a well-known structure both in the community and the greater region.
Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church has historic value because of its associations with the development of religion in Ferryland. The history of Roman Catholicism in Ferryland dates back to the arrival of Lord Baltimore in 1627, over one hundred and fifty years before the formal establishment of the Roman Catholic Church in Newfoundland. Baltimore believed in religious toleration and had both Church of England and Roman Catholic services held in his home. Historian R.J. Lahey went as far as to claim that Ferryland was a "birthplace of religious freedom,” as it was purportedly the site of the first English speaking Roman Catholic mass in British North America. This spirit of toleration was still evident during the construction of the church. A local newspaper reported that some prominent Ferryland Protestant businessmen donated handsomely to the cost of the building.
Spiritually, Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church signifies the community’s long standing devotion to their religion. Having served as the mother church for the Ferryland parish since its construction, Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church has guided the moral values of the people there, strengthening their character and dedication to their church.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Ferryland - Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church - FPT 1534”
Character Defining Elements
All original features which relate to the age and style of the building including:
-multi-gabled steeply pitched roof;
-height of structure;
-arched gothic windows size, style, trim and placement;
-arched transom windows over main doors;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
-stone quoining around windows and doors and on corners, and;
-dimension, location and orientation of building.
Location and History
||Town of Ferryland
||Southern Shore Highway
||1863 - 1865
||Rectangular Long Façade