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St. John's Anglican Church / Stone Church National Historic Site of Canada

85 Carleton Street, St. john, New Brunswick, E2L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/06/22

Front elevation of St. John's Anglican Church/Stone Church, 1992.; Parks Canada Agency/Agence Parcs Canada, 1992.
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1823/01/01 to 1826/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/12/19

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

St. John’s Anglican Church, familiarly called “the stone church” is an early Anglican church built in 1823-6 in the Romantic Gothic Revival style. The church includes a chancel in the Ecclesiological Gothic style and is attached to the church hall, both built after the original construction period. The church is prominently located on Carleton Street at the head of Wellington Row, a steeply graded street in the downtown area of the city of Saint John, New Brunswick. The formal recognition is confined to the footprint of the church with its 1872 chancel addition, and does not include an adjoining parish hall built in 1891.

Heritage Value

St. John’s Anglican Church was designated a national historic site in 1987 because it is one of the earliest and best examples of a Gothic Revival church, in the Romantic phase, in Canada.

St. John’s reflects the earliest phase of the Gothic Revival in Canada, a transitional phase between the classical tradition and revived Gothic architecture, known as Romantic Gothic Revival. Built in 1823-6 to designs by John Cunningham, St. John’s is typical of the Romantic Gothic Revival style in its use of the forms and composition of 18th century classicism, over which Gothic embellishments have been applied. St. John’s is one of the earliest manifestations of this style in Canada. The church became known as the “Stone Church” for its use of stone, an unusual choice in a colony where wood was the usual building material at this early phase. The church includes a chancel built in 1872 to designs by local architect Matthew Stead, which follows a later, more historically correct phase of the Gothic Revival, known as Ecclesiological Gothic Revival.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minute, June 1989; Commemorative Integrity Statement, June 2000.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements which relate to the heritage value of St. John’s Anglican Church include:
-its Romantic Gothic Revival style, evident in its simple rectangular form with
low-pitched gable roof, central, pinnacled tower over the entry, crenelated eave line on main facade, three-bay facade with entry door under ogee arch, flanked by large pointed arch windows with decorative tracery, side elevations each with three evenly spaced, large-pointed arch windows;
-its high-quality stonework;
-its interior layout including the entrance through the tower into an auditory hall with galleries on three sides, a plaster ceiling, and a chancel at the east end;
-the use of Gothic-style decorative vocabulary on interior furnishings and fittings.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

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

Matthew Stead


Lloyd Johnston

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Canadian Inventory of Historic Building Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 525, 25 Eddy Street, Hull, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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