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Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
This large wooden church is built on a hill north of the Village of Cardigan. It has a large rectangular nave and gable roof. A tall entrance tower breaks the front gable and terminates in a cross. A transept with oculus windows and stick style elements is located near the back of the building. The church also features a balanced array of pointed arch Gothic windows with tracery and decorative buttresses and pilasters.
The church is valued for its well preserved French Gothic style and for its contribution to the community of Cardigan.
The origins of this parish church date back to the middle of the 19th century when several missions served the Irish and Scottish Roman Catholic settlers in the vicinity of Cardigan. In the 1870s, it was determined that a new church was needed and land was acquired from both William Lewis and John Griffin.
Construction began in the Spring of 1874 and by November, the church was completed and blessed by Bishop McIntyre. It originally did not include the transept which was added later. The building retains many of its original style elements which include the segmented entrance tower with a spire rising from the middle of four triangular gables on each of the four sides of the tower. These are each topped by a small cross.
The large gable roof features eave bracketting and the transept features a Celtic style cross at the peak of each gable. A transom Gothic window is placed above the double entrance doors. Several renovations, the most recent in 1995, have been made to the building. The original sandstone foundation was replaced by a large modern basement which accommodates many church events. The interior features a rare Italian marble altar which was carved by one of the parishoners, William P. Lewis.
Some notable people associated with the history of the church include Father John MacMillan, who wrote a two volume history of the Roman Catholic Church on PEI, while he was the resident priest from 1894 to 1916. One of the lieutenant governors of Alberta was a native of this parish. The Honourable John J. Bowlen (1876-1959) served in this office from 1950 to 1959. Former PEI Premier W. Bennett Campbell (1943-2008) was also a prominent member of the church.
Located across the road from its cemetery, this well maintained church is a landmark in Cardigan and greatly contributes to the cultural landscape of the area.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/TR16
The heritage value of the church is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the wood framed construction and wood shingled cladding
- the rectangular nave
- the gable roof with eave bracketting
- the segmented entrance tower
- the spire terminating in a cross above the tower
- the trefoil design on the cross gable section above the tower each topped with a small cross
- the decorative tower buttresses
- the transept with stick style elements in the gables which are topped by a Celtic style cross
- the decorative corner pilasters
Prince Edward Island
Province of Prince Edward Island
Heritage Places Protection Act
Registered Historic Place
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Philosophy and Spirituality
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/TR16
Cross-Reference to Collection