Description of Historic Place
All Souls' Chapel is an Island sandstone, High Victorian Gothic chapel that stands next to St. Peter's Anglican Cathedral and overlooks the beautiful Rochford Square. The chapel was designated a National Historic Site in 1990 as an outstanding example of a High Victorian Gothic chapel with murals. The designation encompasses the building's exterior and parcel; it does not include the building's interior.
The heritage value of All Souls' Chapel lies in its well preserved architecture; its association with Charlottetown's Anglican community; and its role in supporting the streetscape of All Souls' Lane.
The chapel was built in 1888 in memory of the first priest incumbent of St. Peter's Cathedral, Reverend George Hodgson (c.1842-1885). A native of Charlottetown, Reverend Hodgson was educated at Oxford where be became familiar with the Oxford or Tractarian Movement which was a liturgical and theological revival of the Catholic tradition within Anglicanism that led to the founding of the St. Peter's Anglican Cathedral Church in Charlottetown. He would serve St. Peter's parish from 1869 until 1885.
All Souls' Chapel was designed by prominent architect, William Critchlow Harris and constructed by the talented builders of the Lowe Brothers firm. Artisans from the firm, Messrs. Gaudin, Young, Hamm, Doull and Whitlock, did the impressive carvings of the interior over a period of time, always to the designs of William Critchlow Harris. Robert Harris, famed artist, and brother of the architect, painted the artwork of the interior.
The small chapel has been described as a gem both inside and out. It is a fine example of the High Victorian Gothic style, a style mainly seen in public buildings and churches due to the craftsmanship, expensive materials and elaborate design required for its construction. Common exterior characteristics of the style are heavy stone masonry, arched windows, steep rooflines, buttresses and the use of polychromy. The exterior of All Souls' Chapel was constructed of heavy, rough textured Island sandstone and features a steep roofline, buttresses and recessed arched, stained glass windows.
Much like the exterior of a High Victorian Gothic style building, the interior included a variety of textures and intricate designs that included rich carvings, coloured tiles and stained glass. The interior of All Souls' Chapel features a Wallace stone chancel arch, wood carvings in walnut and oak, patterned encaustic tiles and paintings of various religious scenes that sometimes featured members of the architect and the artist's family cleverly inserted. The first canvas, probably the most notable, was of the ascending Christ painted in 1890. The final two of a total of eighteen were installed in the chapel in 1917. Many items in the chapel were dedicated in memory of a number of Charlottetown's Anglican community.
A beautiful little chapel both inside and out, All Souls' Chapel is a source of pride to St. Peter's Cathedral and the residents of the City of Charlottetown.
Sources: Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
The following character-defining elements contribute to the heritage value of All Souls' Chapel:
- The overall vertical massing of the building
- The heavy rough sandstone construction
- The steep gable roof with raised parapet gable ends
- The size and placement of the windows, particularly the arched, recessed stained glass windows
- The style and centre placement of the door in the gable end that runs into a rectangular shaped porch
- The size and placement of the stone chimney on the gable end
- The location of the building on All Souls' Lane and its physical and visual relationship to its streetscape