Description of Historic Place
This French Gothic style church is a landmark in Kinkora. It has a cruciform plan with a sacristy. It also features a dome over the centre of the transept, the only Harris church to do so. The rectangular nave has a clerestory above and side aisles. A square tower with circular spire and four turrets rises from the left side of the facade. A shorter circular tower with conical roof is located on the right side of the facade. Bargeboard trim on the gable roof features drilled holes, a characteristic common in many Harris designs. Harris also was involved in the design of the parish house, which stands near the church.
The church is valued for its well preserved French Gothic architectural style; as an example of the work of Island architect, William Critchlow Harris; and for its contribution to the community of Kinkora.
Kinkora, likely named for "Kincora" in Ireland, was settled by Irish immigrants who began to arrrive in the area in 1835. They attended church in Seven Mile Bay, some eight miles from Kinkora. This changed in 1847, when a small church dedicated to St. Malachy, a 12th century Irish bishop, was constructed. The land for this church was donated by the proprietor, Horatio Mann, after the people of Kinkora asked Joseph Pope to make the request on their behalf. The Irish community were so pleased with the gesture that they assembled a choir which performed for Pope and Mann at the Turnchapel shipyard in Lower Bedeque. This building was enlarged in 1872.
By the 1890s, this church was proving inadequate to the needs of the parish and the talents of William Critchlow Harris were employed to design the current building. Francis Bradley was the contractor, while Clovis Arsenault was the foreman of the construction crew.
Harris chose the French Gothic style with many decorative elements including varying shingle patterns, a staged square tower, a conical tower, and Gothic arch windows with hood moulding. The large church included side aisles, a clerestory, and sacristry. Construction began in 1899 and it was opened and dedicated in 1901. Its design is similar to another of Harris' churches, St. Mary's in Indian River.
The well preserved structure remains a religious and cultural landmark in the community of Kinkora.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Tourism and Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/S36
The heritage value of the church is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the wood frame and variety of wood shingle cladding
- the rectangular nave with transept, side aisles, clerestory, and sacristy
- the faux buttresses
- the gable roof with drilled hole bargeboard
- the large square staged tower with tapered spire terminating in a cross
- the four turrets on each corner of the square tower
- the small round tower with conical roof
- the variety of lancet Gothic arch windows with decorative hood moulding
- the darkly painted string courses dividing the exterior
- the clipped gable roofed extension on the side
- the dome rising above the centre of the transept