Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
St. John the Evangelist Cemetery Municipal Historic Site is an early 19th century cemetery located off Spruce Hill Road, Topsail, next to the historic St. John the Evangelist Church. The designation is confined to the cemetery boundaries, defined by a fence which encompasses the perimeter of the property.
The St. John the Evangelist Cemetery was designated a Municipal Heritage Site because it has historic and environmental values.
St. John the Evangelist Cemetery has historic value because it was the first Anglican cemetery in the region. The cemetery developed around St. John the Evangelist Church, a Registered Heritage Structure. The Church was consecrated on June 18, 1861, and the first burial occurred twelve days later. The cemetery has been used since this date, making it the longest, continually used Anglican cemetery in Conception Bay South.
St. John the Evangelist Cemetery holds further historic value because it exists as a genealogical record of the Anglican population of the region. The oldest grave markers are located closest to the church building and these graves hold the remains of early Anglican families of Topsail. Some of the family names represented in the cemetery include Barnes, Mercer, Metcalfe, Parmeter, Hiscock, and Squires, names still widely recognized in the region today. Further, Topsail was once a popular location for the summer homes of St. John’s elite and these summer residents were actively involved in the local parish, erecting many of their summer homes in close proximity to the church and cemetery. Sir Edgar Bowering, a merchant, politician, and benefactor of Bowering Park, St. John’s, is laid to rest in the cemetery as well as James Bancroft, who was one of the founders and the first president of the Newfoundland Teachers Association, 1890.
St. John the Evangelist Cemetery has environmental value because of its location. The cemetery is situated next to an historic church and in an area in which many other heritage properties are situated, including the Hermitage Registered Heritage Structure. The cemetery boasts a splendid view of Conception Bay and has many mature trees and native flora and fauna.
Source: Town of Conception Bay South, regular council meeting March 6, 2007 #07-096
All those elements which represent the age, natural environment and sacred function of the cemetery, including:
-a variety of carved headstones and grave markers belonging to a number of historic local persons;
-original memorial stones and monuments, with their surviving inscriptions;
-the unimpeded view of Conception Bay;
-location, orientation and dimensions in relationship to the church; and
-siting in historic area of town.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land
1861/01/01 to 1861/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Conception Bay South Heritage Advisory Committee, 106 Conception Bay Highway, Conception Bay South, NL, A1W 3A5
Cross-Reference to Collection