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Bishop Feild College - City of St. John's Heritage Site

Bishop Feild College, St. John's.
Bishop Feild College, St. John's.
Bishop Feild College, Bond Street, post 1929

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

City of St. John's Heritage Building, Structure, Land or Area

Description of Historic Place

Bishop Feild College is a two-storey brick and limestone building built in the Gothic Revival style. Commissioned by Bishop Edward Feild in 1928, the school is one of the early collegiate style buildings in St. John’s. This designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

Bishop Feild College is designated as a Municipal Heritage Building due to its architectural and historic values.

Bishop Feild College is architecturally valuable because it presents one of the finest examples of the Collegiate Gothic style in Newfoundland. Designed to function as an English-style school, the building also employs many traditional Collegiate Gothic elements. For example, the main entrance to the school is rusticated limestone with crenellation at the top and four plaques featuring the coats of arms of the school, the city, the province and the diocese. Other typical Gothic features include the slightly pointed arch of the main doorway and the decorative recesses that likely once held statues. The use of the Gothic style was typical for Church of England buildings commissioned under Bishop Edward Feild. This style was the architectural embodiment of Feild’s Tractarian practices and the “high-church” tone he wanted to create around the Anglican Church during this period.

Bishop Feild College is also architecturally valuable due to its association with Canadian architect Eustace G. Bird. Bird was born in Ontario and studied with Strickland and Symonds before going to England to study in 1892. Upon his return he designed a number of buildings across the country including Bishop Feild College, as well as the Royal Bank in Toronto and the Transportation Building in Montreal.

Bishop Feild College is historically valuable as one of the early Collegiate schools in Newfoundland. Founded by Bishop Edward Feild in 1844, Bishop Feild College moved a number of times before settling in its current building in 1928. The College was founded in the year that Bishop Feild came to Newfoundland and at the beginning of a period of great Anglicanism in Newfoundland. Feild saw the need for high quality education for boys in Newfoundland and felt that the English Collegiate system was a good way to accomplish this level. Bishop Feild College was attended by boys of middle and upper class families in St. John’s and boys of upper class families in outport communities. Bishop Feild College remained an independent private school until the 1960s when it joined the school board and soon after it became Bishop Feild Elementary, which it remains today. Bishop Feild College is also historically valuable for its associations with members of Newfoundland’s social, political and business worlds. The longstanding success of the school can be seen in some of its alumni which included Father of Confederation Joey Smallwood, Lieutenant Governor and former politician John Crosbie, two other Lieutenant Governors, and 15 Rhodes Scholars, among others.

Source: City of St. John's Council Meeting held 1989/07/21

Character Defining Elements

All those elements that are representative of the Collegiate Gothic Revival style of architecture including:
-rusticated stone;
-use of Indiana limestone;
-window placement;
-keystone trim around windows;
-limestone quoining at corners;
-plaques around entranceway representing the coats of arms of the city, the school, the diocese and the province; and
-large windows in entranceway.

Location and History

Community St. John's
Municipality City of St. John's
Civic Address 044 Bond Street
Construction (circa) 1926 - 1928
Eustace G. Bird
Anglin and Norcross
Style Gothic Revival
Building Plan Rectangular Long Façade
Website Link