St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church is a wooden, Gothic Revival style church with a spire. It is located on Chapel Hill in Bonavista, NL. The municipal heritage designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Bonavista due to its aesthetic and historic value.
St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church has aesthetic value because it is a charming example of a wooden, Gothic Revival style church. The white, narrow wooden clapboard is set off by the simple green trim and green wooden shingles. The mid-pitch gable roof is topped with a cupola and steep spire, which in turn is topped with a large wooden cross. A carved quatrefoil medallion located high in the front gable end is centrally fixed between two multi-paned Gothic arched windows. The enclosed porch has a central wood plank double door and a side wood plank door, both white. Both long sides of the church have large Gothic windows featuring hoodmolds and delicately carved trefoils in the arches. The church is flanked by two buttresses peaked with finials at the front façade. The Gothic characteristics combined with its vernacular nature distinguish this wooden church.
St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church has further aesthetic value due to its position in the cultural landscape of Bonavista. It is a landmark at the summit of a small hill, and is visible from Bonavista Harbour.
St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church has historic value due to its age. Construction of the church began in 1815 and finished in 1842, at which time it was the only Catholic church on the Bonavista Peninsula.
Source: Town of Bonavista Town Council meeting minutes of 2006/08/14
Character Defining Elements
All those elements that represent Gothic Revival style and landmark status, including:
-mid-pitch gable roof;
-narrow wooden clapboard;
-wooden roof shingles;
-cupola with spire;
-buttresses with finials;
-arched trefoil windows;
-enclosed porch with plank doors;
-placement within community;
-location, orientation, dimensions;
-window and door openings; and
-view of the church from Bonavista Harbour.
Location and History
Town of Bonavista
1815 - 1842
Bonavista RC congregation
Rectangular Short Façade