Roman Catholic Cemetery
123 St. Peters Road / St. Peters Anglican Cemetery
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
123 St. Peters Road is a large cemetery located on a treed lot, outside of the original boundaries of the City of Charlottetown, along one of the oldest roads in Prince Edward Island. Members of Charlottetown's early Roman Catholic and Anglican communities are buried here. The designation encompasses the boundaries of the cemetery grounds.
The heritage value of 123 St. Peters Road lies in its association with the early Roman Catholic and Anglican communities of the City.
The Roman Catholic community of Charlottetown has been in existence since the 1760s, although it is not clear where they were buried during the early years. Despite the fact that there is no definite proof that Roman Catholics were buried in Charlottetown's oldest existing graveyard, the Old Protestant Burying Ground on University Avenue, a number of the surnames of those who were interred there are associated with the Roman Catholic community.
The first known Roman Catholic cemetery was located outside of the former boundaries of the City at 123 St. Peters Road. An 1811 land conveyance document reveals that Isaac Newton conveyed a parcel of land to Richard Oxley, indicating that the sale of the parcel of land was to include everything save for a section the size of a town lot to be set aside for a burying place. Roman Catholics used this burying ground for approximately thirty years, when it was abandoned for a cemetery closer to town on Longworth Avenue in 1843.
The St. Peters Anglican Church purchased the property adjoining the former Roman Catholic Cemetery in 1869. The two denominations are distinguished by the direction that the stones face. Roman Catholic stones are situated north south while the Anglican stones face east. The Roman Catholic section has 29 existing stones recording 68 burials that date from 1823 until 1843. One of these is that of Donald MacDonald (b. 1779) a merchant and the first Roman Catholic to be elected to the PEI Colonial Assembly.
The Anglican section of the cemetery is still active. A number of former Premiers and two Fathers of Confederation (George Coles and Thomas Heath Haviland) are interred there, as well as other prominent members of the community, including the Harris brothers Robert (artist) and William Critchlow (architect).
An important part of the history of Charlottetown, 123 St. Peters Road is a monument to the memory of Charlottetown's early inhabitants - some of whom shaped the history of the city, province and the country.
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 123 St. Peters Road:
- The location of the graveyard on St. Peters Road
- Its size and borders
- The size, placement, carvings and inscriptions of the grave markers
- The treed lot
Prince Edward Island
City of Charlottetown
City of Charlottetown Zoning and Development Bylaw
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Office, City of Charlottetown Planning Department, PO Box 98, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7K2
Cross-Reference to Collection