Old Anglican Cemetery Municipal Heritage Site
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
Description of Historic Place
Dating to the mid-nineteenth century, the Old Anglican Cemetery in Anchor Point, NL served as a burial ground for the residents of this Straits community and surrounding area for over a century. It is located on The Barrens overlooking the Strait of Belle Isle on the western side of the tip of the Northern Peninsula. The designation is confined to the area enclosed by the cemetery fence.
The Old Anglican Cemetery has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Anchor Point because of its historic and aesthetic values.
The Old Anglican Cemetery has historic value as a physical record of Anchor Point’s history, the cemetery markers serving as both historic records and artifacts on the landscape. The cemetery is known as the oldest consecrated cemetery on the Northern Peninsula and many of the gravestones date from the early to late 1800s. The oldest known headstone is dated to 1823 and there are fourteen unknown burial sites. Anchor Point was first settled by a British seaman named Robert Bartlett and his nephew Robert Genge - likely in the 1750s. Robert Bartlett later returned to England while Robert Genge stayed and was later joined by his brother Abram Genge. Genge is the dominate surname in the cemetery but other surnames from communities along the coast also appear. Although Anchor Point was not a year round community until the mid 1900s - during the winter residents would move a few kilometres inland to Deep Cove to escape the harsh winter winds that blew across the Strait of Belle Isle - it was chosen as a burial place over a century before permanent settlement occurred.
The Old Anglican Cemetery has further historic value due to its association with Bishop Edward Feild, second Church of England Bishop of Newfoundland from 1844-1876. Although it had been used for several decades, the cemetery was only consecrated on Sunday, August 27, 1848, when Feild stopped in at Anchor Point on a return trip from the south coast of Labrador. Oral traditional records that a mother of the settlement remarked that she had lived thirty-three years and never saw a clergyman, except a French Priest, and declared the day of Bishop Feild’s visit to be the happiest of her life.
The Old Anglican Cemetery has aesthetic value due to its unique environmental setting and placement of burial plots. The cemetery is located on the picturesque northwest side of Anchor Point, overlooking The Barrens and the Strait of Belle Isle. The cemetery provides an impressive view of the Straits and the southern coast of Labrador, an ideal vantage point to observe the crossing of the Labrador ferry. The cemetery is enclosed by a fence of vernacular design and all the headstones face west. The headstones are predominately made of marble and were most likely shipped from England. A few family plots still remain and these are enclosed by individual fences.
Source: Town of Anchor Point Regular Council Meeting July 23, 2007.
Character Defining Elements
All those elements which represent the age and aesthetic value of the cemetery, including:
-original memorial stones and monuments with their surviving inscriptions;
-positioning of grave markers;
-size, style and dimensions of remaining enclosed family plots;
-fences enclosing family plots;
-vernacular design of fence surrounding cemetery;
-view to and from the cemetery from a variety of vantage points, and;
-location, orientation and dimensions of the cemetery.
Location and History