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St. Patrick's Convent and School

St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1E, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/07/21

Exterior view of the main facade of St. Patrick's Convent, 015 Convent Square, St. John's, NL. Taken March 2005.; HFNL 2005.
St. Patrick's Convent, 015 Convent Square.
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1880/01/01 to 1882/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/03/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

St. Patrick's Convent is a three storey Second Empire style building located at 15 Convent Square, St. John's, NL, with an attached Gothic Revival school to the rear. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

This building has been designated a Municipal Heritage Structure for its aesthetic and historical values.

St Patrick’s Convent is aesthetically valuable because it is a good example of an early 19th century convent with Second Empire influences. The original 1880s convent is one of the earliest Second Empire style buildings in the city with its semicircular dormer windows and mansard roof. The convent has a seven bay façade with a slightly projected tower at the center. The second floor has double, 1/1 long windows with a moulded lintel and the window in the tower has a classical pediment. The main floor has similar windows, adding to the continuity of the Second Empire style. The main floor also has a low, covered porch on the east side of the front façade, and at the central tower is a separate covered porch enclosed in glass and wood.

Further aesthetic value can be seen in the St. Patrick's School addition, located at the back of the convent on the south side. The addition is an example of Gothic Revival architecture with buttresses and a steeply pitched gabled roof.

St. Patrick's Convent is historically valuable because of its age and association with the Roman Catholic church. This Presentation Order convent, formerly known as the Riverhead Convent, opened in 1856 with Sr. M. Clare Waldron as superioress. This convent for St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Parish, along with the church, rectory and school located on the same grounds, has played an important role of the development of the Catholic Church in the west end of St. John’s.

Source: Municipal Designation file, City of St. John's Archives.

Character-Defining Elements

All those original elements that embody the Second Empire style of architecture, including:
-mansard roof;
-semi-circular dormer windows;
-moulded lintel;
-slightly projected tower at front façade
-double, 1/1, long windows;
-covered porches;

All those original elements that embody the Gothic Revival style of architecture in the school addition, including:
-buttresses; and
-arched windows and fenestration pattern;
-building massing, dimensions, and height; and,
-steeply pitched gable roof.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

City of St. John's

Recognition Statute

City of St. John's Act

Recognition Type

City of St. John's Heritage Building, Structure, Land or Area

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of St. John's Archives, 3rd Floor Railway Coastal Museum, 495 Water Street, P.O. Box 908, St. John's, NL A1C 5M2

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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