St. Charles Borromeo Church and Grounds Municipal Heritage Site
Fermeuse, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0A, Canada
Links and documents
1923/01/01 to 1926/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
St. Charles Borromeo Church and Grounds is located on Port Kirwan Road in the community of Fermeuse, NL. Vernacular in design, the church was built between 1923 and 1926 by Nicholas Walsh, Stephen Brophy, Patrick Dunne and numerous volunteers, under the direction of Reverend Charles McCarthy, an Irish priest who served the parish for many years. The designation includes the church and a parcel of land surrounding it.
St. Charles Borromeo Church and Grounds has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Fermeuse because of its aesthetic, cultural and historic value.
St. Charles Borromeo Church and Grounds has aesthetic value primarily due to its environmental setting. It is clearly visible from many vantage points throughout the community of Fermeuse. It is a prominent landmark along Port Kirwan Road and is clearly viewed when travelling north along the Southern Shore Highway and when approaching the community from the ocean. St. Charles Borromeo Church has further aesthetic value as an example of a vernacular church incorporating Gothic Revival elements. Gothic influences evident on the exterior include the steeply pointed roof, simple lines, round arched windows with multi-coloured panes and imitation buttresses.
St. Charles Borromeo Church and Grounds has historic value as it is a physical testament to a former way of life once common in many small communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. When the community of Fermeuse needed a new church parishioners made monetary donations to the project as well as providing a mainly voluntary labour pool. Such community efforts to erect public buildings were once a very common practice in small communities. These projects speak to an earlier way of life which is waning in the face of centralized religious governance and regional concentration of places of worship.
St. Charles Borromeo Church and Grounds has cultural value for current Fermeuse residents whose parents and grandparents contributed to the construction of the church and who continue to aid in the maintenance of the church property. Its sentimental value is evidenced through efforts by the Fermeuse Church Committee to restore the church’s interior to its original layout. These efforts harken back to a time and place when religion played an important role in this almost exclusively Roman Catholic community.
Source: Town of Fermeuse Regular Council Meeting March 8, 2006
All those features elements that define the building as a landmark including:
-location on Port Kirwan Road;
-unobstructed view from Port Kirwan Road, Southern Shore Highway and ocean approach; and
-dimensions, location and orientation of building.
All those exterior features representative of vernacular Gothic Revival style, including:
-steeply pitched gable roof;
-number of storeys;
-window size, style, trim and placement;
-multi-paned, multi-coloured rounded arch windows;
-rounded arch window openings;
-location of entrances; and
-general massing of the structure.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
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
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador
1 Springdale Street
St. John's, NL
Cross-Reference to Collection