Home / Accueil

O'Neill Complex

308 Water Street, St Andrews, New Brunswick, E5B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2009/05/04

This photograph shows the elongated front view of the building, 2008; Town of St. Andrews
O'Neill Complex - Contextual view
This photograph shows an angled view of the building, 2008; Town of St. Andrews
O'Neill Complex - Angled View
This photograph shows a multi paned wood framed window, 2008; Town of St. Andrews
O'Neill Complex - Window

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/08/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The O'Neill Complex is a one-storey vernacular building with an elongated rectangular massing. Built circa 1828, this residence is in close proximity to Water Street in St. Andrews.

Heritage Value

The O’Neill Complex is designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture and for its 143 year association with the O’Neill family.

Irish immigrant Henry O’Neill had this complex built circa 1828. Many locals have wondered about this unusual elongated building which, at first glance, resembles some sort of barracks. The block upon which this building stands was known locally as the O’Neill Block in honour of Henry O’Neill. The complex is basically two homes put together, with the home on the left having an extra rank of windows on each side of the entrance. This was most probably the home of Henry O’Neill and his sons.

Henry O’Neill was one of the most successful early Irish settlers and he and his family became one of the most philanthropic families in the Town of St. Andrews. Henry immigrated to Canada in March 1818 from Tyrone County, Ireland, arriving in Saint John after a two month voyage. Having secured a sub-contract for supplying provisions to the troops quartered in the garrison at St. Andrews, he moved to this town in 1821.

Evidence of his popularity among the early Catholic immigrants is evident in the fact that the first Catholic mass in St. Andrews was held at his first home in 1822, where a collection of 30 pounds was obtained to build a church. He was a consistent advocate of total abstinence and his benevolent activities were numerous. He raised a family of 12 children and passed away in 1884 at the age of 92. He was one of the last of the early Irish immigrants. Upon his death, the meat business that he had established in 1823 was carried on by his sons under the name of H. O’Neill. This residential building was owned by Henry O’Neill and his descendants for a total of 143 years.

Architecturally, this home consists of a simple common vernacular style. The simple roof-line, low plan with symmetrical proportions, and multi-pane windows add to its charming rustic appearance. This block was used for O’Neill’s large farm which was once surrounded by a white thorn hedge from quicks imported from Belfast, Ireland.

Source: Charlotte County Archives - Old Gaol, St. Andrews, New Brunswick - St. Andrews Historic Places File, "O'Neill Complex"

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the O’Neill Complex include:
- elongated rectangular single-storey massing;
- two distinct forms of vernacular architecture in a single elongated complex;
- gable roof with flush eaves;
- multi-paned windows;
- wood cladding with narrow corner boards;
- exposed rock foundation;
- close proximity to the street.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Local Historic Places Program

Recognition Type

Municipal Register of Local Historic Places

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Peopling the Land
Migration and Immigration

Function - Category and Type



Multiple Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Charlotte County Archives - Old Gaol, St. Andrews, New Brunswick

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places