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St. Mary's Anglican Church Registered Heritage Structure

St. Mary's Anglican Church, Elliston, NL
St. Mary's Anglican Church, Elliston, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Description of Historic Place

St. Mary’s Anglican Church is a wooden church constructed in the vernacular Gothic style. Built between 1872 and 1875, it is located in Elliston, NL. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

St. Mary’s Anglican Church was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1988 due to its aesthetic and historic value.

St. Mary’s Anglican Church has aesthetic value as it is a fine example of a vernacular Gothic Revival style church. The steeply-pitched multi-gabled roof adds dimension to this modest building. The gables are accentuated through the use of carved crosses positioned at each peak. The Gothic pointed arch windows have diamond shaped muntins. The porch on the main façade also as a steep pitched roof and a pointed arch doorway. Many of the interior features of the church are original and particularly notable is the scissor-braced roof truss, visible from inside, as are the exposed beams. Also notable is the mortise and tenon solid joinery in the frame construction.

St. Mary’s Anglican Church has further aesthetic value due to the craftsmanship employed in the construction of the church. The church was built by Allan Ryder and his son Robert, who were well-known builders from the neighbouring town of Bonavista. It is believed that Allan Ryder, a native of England, came to Bonavista to work on the construction of the Church of England there and eventually settled in Bonavista.

St. Mary’s Anglican Church has historic value due to its age, its association with the Tilley family and as a physical testament to a way of life once common in small communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Built between 1872 and 1875, St. Mary’s Anglican Church was partially paid for by the Tilley family, who ran a merchant firm in Elliston. Additional funds for the construction of the church were raised through donations from the congregation and through fundraising events. Such communal efforts to build churches were once a common occurrence in small communities.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “Elliston - St. Mary's Anglican Church – FPT 294"

Character Defining Elements

All those exterior and interior architectural features that are representative of the Gothic Revival style including;
-number of storeys;
-multi-gabled steeply pitched roof;
-wooden shingles on roof;
-wooden crosses at roof peaks;
-return on the eaves;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-wooden corner boards;
- size, style, trim and placement of porch on front facade;
-arched Gothic windows size, style, trim and placement;
-size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors;
-dimension, location and orientation of building;
-mortise and tenon construction, and;
-scissor-braced roof trusses.

Notes of Interest

Reverend A. Bayly (father of Cannon A.G. Bayly) was rector of the parish at the time of construction.

Location and History

Community Elliston
Municipality Town of Elliston
Construction 1872 - 1875
Allan and Robert Ryder
Style Gothic Revival
Building Plan Rectangular Long Façade