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St. James Anglican Church

Battle Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/07/24

Exterior photo, rear facade, St. James Anglican Church, Battle Harbour, Labrador.; HFNL 2005
St. James Anglican Church, Battle Harbour.
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1855/01/01 to 1857/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/01/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Built in 1857, St. James Anglican Church is a two storey, clapboard sided church designed in the Gothic Revival style during the episcopacy of Bishop Edward Feild by British architect William Grey. Located in Battle Harbour on the south-east coast of Labrador, St. James Church is the oldest non-Moravian church in Labrador. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

St. James Anglican Church is designated as a Registered Heritage Structure due to its architectural value, historic associations and cultural value.

St. James Church provides an excellent example of the Gothic Revival style as adapted in small churches in Newfoundland and Labrador. This church represents a simplified version of Gothic Revival and elements such as the exposed timber framing on the interior of the church embody the style of design inspired by Tractarian practices. St. James Church is architecturally valuable because it is the only remaining church in Newfoundland designed by British ecclesiastical architect Reverend William Grey. Grey made a significant contribution to the introduction of the Gothic Revival style in Newfoundland by designing a number of churches throughout Newfoundland during the Victorian period.

St. James Anglican Church is an good example of a typical small High Anglican church built in rural Newfoundland during the Victorian period. In particular, the layout of the church is representative of this period. There is a bell tower with a pyramidal roof at the west end of the nave and a vestry at the east end. Both the nave and vestry have a steep pitched gable roof. Many interior features remain original including latches, hinges and keepers that are typical of the Victorian period.

St. James Church is historically valuable because of its long standing role as the centre of the Anglican mission on the Labrador coast. Commissioned by Bishop Edward Feild in 1852, the church is an important reflection of Bishop Feild’s work to expand the Anglican mission in Labrador. Bishop Feild had an important influence on religious, political and educational life of 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. James Church represents the efforts at High Anglicanism of Bishop Field during his episcopacy.

St. James Anglican Church is a focal point of the cultural landscape of Battle Harbour and contributes significantly to the complex of buildings that make up this fisheries settlement.

Source: Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador unnumbered property designation file, 1 Springdale Street, St. John's, NL, A1C 5V5

Character-Defining Elements

All interior and exterior features (lancet windows, pulpit, baptismal font) that are representative of a Labrador interpretation of the Gothic Revival style of architecture, including:
-wooden shingles;
-pyramidal roof of bell tower;
-steep pitched gable roof of nave and vestry;
-window number, style, construction and placement; and,
-building height, massing and dimensions.

All original interior features that are typical of the period of construction, including:
-original latches, hinges and keepers
-interior exposed timber ceiling;

Those features which speak to the environmental value of the church, including:
-location and context of the church within the Battle Harbour landscape;



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Statute

Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Registered Heritage Structure

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer

Reverend William Grey



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador 1 Springdale Street St. John’s, NL A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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