Bishop Feild College is a two-storey concrete building with brick and limestone overlay, built in 1928 in the Gothic Revival style. The building sits on a large lot on Bond Street in downtown St. John’s, NL. The designation is restricted to the footprint of the building.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Registered Heritage Structure
Bishop Feild College was designated a Registered Heritage Structure by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1994 due to its aesthetic and historic value.
Bishop Feild College is a rare Newfoundland example of the Collegiate Gothic style, popular for academic buildings in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Collegiate Gothic was a less ornate version of the earlier Gothic Revival style common in nineteenth-century Anglican buildings (such as the nearby Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist). The Gothic elements of Bishop Feild College are most visible in the main entrance to the school with its arched doorway, crowned with a crenellated mock turret. Decorative recesses built in the entrance bay may have been intended for statues. Plaques featuring the coats of arms of the school, the city, the province and the diocese surround the entrance. The original building was symmetrical in layout; the extension on the southeast corner of the school was constructed much later, in the 1970s. Bishop Feild College was designed by London-trained Canadian architect Eustace G. Bird who was involved in the design of numerous institutional buildings in Ontario and who also designed two private residences in St. John’s.
Bishop Feild College has its roots in the Church of England College founded in St. John’s in 1844 by Bishop Edward Feild who was a driving force behind denominational schooling in Newfoundland. He wanted to establish an English-style school (organized into forms) to provide a quality education for Anglican boys. The school ran under the English-style system until 1908. During this time, the Church of England College moved from the original rented space on Forest Road to a building on Colonial Street, residing there from 1861 until the construction of the current Bond Street building in 1926-1928. The Church of England College was renamed in honour of Bishop Feild in 1894. Bishop Feild College remained an independent boys’ private school for decades, eventually joining the school board in the 1960s. Secondary level grades were phased out by 1972 and it was opened to girls. With the elimination of the denominational school system in the province Bishop Feild became open to all students.
Bishop Feild College has long been associated with notable members of Newfoundland’s social, political and business worlds. Boys from many of Newfoundland’s prominent Anglican families attended the school. Among Bishop Feild’s alumni, or “Old Feildians”, are politicians (including the province’s first premier, Joey Smallwood), lieutenant governors, civil servants and over a dozen Rhodes scholars. In an neighbourhood that once had half a dozen schools of different denominations, Bishop Feild College is now one of only two historic schools still standing and being used for their original purpose.
Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador property file “St. John’s – Bishop Feild College – FPT 1466”
Character Defining Elements
All those elements that are representative of early-twentieth century Collegiate Gothic architecture including:
-number of storeys;
-concrete and mixed masonry structure, with limestone and brick overlay;
-gable roof over north wing;
-symmetry of front facade;
-concrete quoining at corners;
-size, placement and number of lights in windows;
-keystone trim around windows;
-crenellated mock turret above entrance;
-large bay windows above entrance;
-plaques around entranceway representing the coats of arms of the city, the school, the diocese and the province;
-concrete foundation, and
-dimensions, location and orientation of building.
Location and History
City of St. John's
44 Bond Street
1926 - 1928
Eustace G. Bird
Rectangular Long Façade