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St. Peter's Anglican Church and Cemetery Municipal Heritage Site

St. Peter’s Anglican Church and Cemetery, Twillingate, NL
St. Peter’s Anglican Church and Cemetery, Twillingate, NL
St. Peter’s Anglican Church and Cemetery, Twillingate, NL

Statement of Significance

Formal Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land

Description of Historic Place

St. Peter’s Anglican Church and Cemetery includes a wooden, Gothic Revival style church and surrounding cemetery. Located in Twillingate, NL, St. Peter’s Anglican Church was built between 1839 and 1844 during the episcopacy of Bishop Edward Feild. The designation includes the church and surrounding cemetery land.

Heritage Value

St. Peter’s Anglican Church and Cemetery has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Twillingate due to its aesthetic, historic and spiritual value.

St. Peter’s Anglican Church has aesthetic value due to its style, craftsmanship and environmental setting. St. Peter’s Anglican Church is a good example of a High Anglican church built in rural Newfoundland during the Victorian period. Employing Gothic Revival style elements and inspired by Tractarian practices, the church stands as a testament to the quality of the craftsmanship of the period. Gothic features include the steeply pitched gable roof, pointed arch windows and doors, finials, bargeboard and a large bell tower with a spire and crennelation along the top. All these elements, combined with the massing and prominent location of the church, make it a dominant landmark within the community of Twillingate.

St. Peter’s Anglican Church has historic value as a physical testament to a way of life once common in small communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. When St. Peter’s congregation needed a new church it was constructed with funds raised by the community. Subscriptions were made by local merchants and funds were solicited from church societies in Newfoundland and England. Members of the congregation also donated their money and labour to the project. When construction officially concluded on November 2, 1844, all monies owning were paid in full, a total of 1000 pounds. The congregation also decided not to sell pews, a once common practice, but insisted that the church be equally accessible to all. At the consecration in 1845, the deed of the church was offered in trust to the bishop for the perpetual use of all inhabitants of Twillingate.

St. Peter’s Anglican Church has spiritual value as a physical representation of the faith and commitment of the Anglican (earlier Church of England) congregation in Twillingate. Consecrated by Bishop Edward Feild in 1845, the church is also an important reflection of Bishop Feild’s work to expand the Anglican Church in Newfoundland. Bishop Feild had an important influence on religious, political and educational life in 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. Peter’s Anglican Church represents the efforts at High Anglicanism by Bishop Feild’s congregants during his episcopacy.

The churchyard cemetery also has aesthetic, historic and spiritual value. The cemetery, in combination with St. Peter’s Church, is a distinctive cultural landscape feature in Twillingate. The gravemarkers are mainly tablet forms in white marble and contain historic and genealogical type information. As such, they may be considered artifacts on the landscape. The cemetery is also a place of spiritual importance for members of St. Peter’s Anglican Church as many of the departed faithful of the congregation are laid to rest here.

Source: Town of Twillingate Regular Council Meeting Motion 07-205 November 5, 2007.

Character Defining Elements

All those features that represent the Gothic Revival style of the building, including:
- height of structure (including tower with spire);
- steeply pitched gable roof;
- bell tower with finials, crennelation, spire and clock;
- narrow wooden clapboard;
- clapboard on the bias on rear gable;
- corner boards;
- bargeboard on rear gable;
- cross finial on rear gable peak;
- pointed arch wooden window size, style, trim and placement;
- stained glass windows;
- size, style, trim and placement of exterior doors, and;
- location, orientation, and dimensions of building.

Those elements which contribute to the cemetery’s aesthetic, historic and spiritual value including:
- original memorial stones and monuments with their surviving inscriptions;
- style, placement and materials of gravemarkers;
- grassy groundcover;
- view to and from the cemetery from variety of vantage points;
- location, orientation and dimensions of cemetery, and;
- its association with the Church of England/Anglican religion.

Location and History

Community Twillingate
Municipality Town of Twillingate
Civic Address St. Peter's Church Road
Construction (circa) 1839 - 1844
Style Gothic Revival
Building Plan Rectangular Short Façade
Website Link http://townoftwillingate.ca